cover image City on Edge

City on Edge

Stefanie Pintoff. Bantam, $27 (384p) ISBN 978-0-425-28445-2

Near the start of Edgar-winner Pintoff’s uneven second Eve Rossi novel (after 2015’s Hostage Taker), New York City Police Commissioner Logan Donovan is assaulted amid preparations for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Donovan’s 13-year-old daughter, Allie, disappears in the ensuing riot. Police find Allie’s cell phone on a subway platform, the timer counting down to the parade’s scheduled conclusion and the home screen bearing an image of the missing girl together with the message: “How far will you go to save her?” Donovan tasks FBI special agent Evangeline Rossi and her Vidocq team of “ex-cons and barely reformed thugs,” who solve crimes using nontraditional methods, with locating Allie and bringing her kidnapper to justice. What begins as a high-octane thriller falls prey to choppy pacing, ill-defined stakes, and a convoluted denouement. Early scenes spotlighting police brutality are edgy, affecting, and create the expectation of a tale with a social conscience; Pintoff never seriously revisits the topic, though, and two-dimensional characters further diminish the book’s emotional heft. Agent: David Hale Smith, DHS Literary. (Nov.)