cover image Person of Interest

Person of Interest

Theresa Schwegel, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $24.95 (372pp) ISBN 978-0-312-36426-7

Cops, criminals and neglected families collide with disastrous results in Edgar-winner Schwegel's intense third novel (after 2006's Probable Cause ). Chicago PD detective Craig McHugh is deep into an undercover investigation of a deadly batch of heroin allegedly being peddled by the Fuxi Spiders, a powerful Chinese gang. Hoping to gain their trust, Craig burns through his department allowance and his own funds playing at a Fuxi card game. Meanwhile, Craig's sullen teenage daughter, Ivy, is dragged home from a party by his police colleagues after being caught with ecstasy. Unaware of her husband's undercover assignment, Craig's wife, Leslie, is convinced he's having an affair, and she soon begins flirting with Ivy's handsome jazz-playing boyfriend. As Craig's work life spills into his personal one, his family must come together to stay alive. The well-placed action scenes are brutal enough to resonate, but the violence is never gratuitous. This pitch-perfect portrait of a family in crisis reinforces Schwegel's position as one of today's top authors of hard-boiled police procedurals. Author tour. (Nov.)