cover image You Belong to Me

You Belong to Me

Colin Harrison. FSG/Crichton, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-0-374-29947-7

In his latest New York-centered crime thriller, Harrison (Manhattan Nocturne) spins a tightly wound tale of obsession and betrayal. When middle-aged immigration attorney and New York City map connoisseur Paul Reeves attends an auction with his beautiful neighbor, both are confronted by mysterious figures who will dramatically alter the course of their futures. Losing an auction at the last second to an unknown bidder, Paul becomes fixated on obtaining a rare, highly desired map—regardless of cost or the dubiously moral actions required to complete its acquisition. Meanwhile, small-town-girl-turned-trophy-wife Jennifer Mehraz reignites a passionate romance from her past after a man in military fatigues appears at the auction, risking potentially violent repercussions from her wealthy husband if he discovers her infidelity. An attempted abduction results in two unforeseen deaths, which send carefully crafted plans spiraling out of control. As bodies pile up and Jennifer’s fear for her safety reaches a crescendo, Paul attempts to help his friend while advancing his own interests. The narrative is as impressively constructed as the maps in Paul’s collection: each section laid out in seamless order to allow for a satisfyingly neat conclusion. What the narrative has in plotting it lacks in characterization, often relying on overused noir conventions—particularly with regards to women—which ultimately allows the city itself to emerge as the most memorable character. New York, in its glory and historical complexity, defies any who would attempt to possess it and dwarfs the ambitions of this intricate cast of ruthless characters. (June)