cover image Heat 2

Heat 2

Michael Mann and Meg Gardiner. Morrow/Michael Mann, $28.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-265331-4

Emmy-winning director, screenwriter, and producer Mann has coauthored his first crime novel with Edgar winner Gardiner (The Dark Corners of the Night), which falls short as a sequel to Mann’s 1995 movie, Heat. Heat focused on a battle of wits between Neil McCauley, the head of a Los Angeles robbery crew, and the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division’s Vincent Hanna, who sacrificed a personal life to his job. Since McCauley was gunned down by Hanna at the movie’s climax, the focus is on the member of the robber’s crew who escaped, Chris Shiherlis. Flashbacks describe Shiherlis’s life before the film, starting in 1988, and sections set in 1996 and 2000 detail his time on the run, during which he commits new crimes, ending up in Paraguay as a result. Hanna also gets a backstory, including his search for a sadistic murderer and rapist during his tenure with the Chicago police, which picks up again, unexpectedly, in 2000. Neither character is meaningfully fleshed out, and the prose is often stilted and baroque (“The cheap porn of Alex’s illogic roars in Hanna’s head”). Even passionate fans of the movie are likely to feel that Mann should have quit while he was ahead. Agent: Shane Salerno, Story Factory. (Aug.)