cover image A Faint Cold Fear

A Faint Cold Fear

Robert Daley. Little Brown and Company, $19.95 (450pp) ISBN 978-0-316-17184-7

Opening with the bust of a coke warehouse in New York City, Daley ( Year of the Dragon ; Prince of the City ) grabs our attention and doesn't let go until the last line. Deputy Chief Ray Douglas, 44 and recently widowed, an NYPD star who loves his job, is sent to ``liaise'' with the DEA--in Bogota. Reporter Jane Fox, 35 and chafing at subtle sexism at ``the paper'' (read: the New York Times ) takes a prestigious foreign assignment--in Bogota. Both longing to return to New York, Ray and Jane warily become allies, then friends, then lovers. Their battles with various bureaucracies eventually lead to direct, dangerous confrontation with vastly rich and ruthless drug traffickers. Former Times man and deputy police commissioner Daley gives penetrating inside looks at the NYPD, ``the paper,'' the DEA, South American life and the Medellin Cartel. Never less than informative and fascinating, often exciting and always ringing true, his latest crime thriller also shows ``our all-out war on drugs'' to be wrongheaded or inept--or both. (Oct.)