cover image Winter Warning: An Isaac Sidel Novel

Winter Warning: An Isaac Sidel Novel

Jerome Charyn. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-68177-348-3

Isaac Sidel tilts futilely at windmills, with a pistol instead of a lance (hence his nickname, Don Quixote with a Glock), in Charyn’s enjoyable if sometimes baffling 12th novel featuring the former New York City police chief turned politician (after 1999’s Citizen Sidel). Sometime in the 1980s, Sidel is elected vice president of the United States, but he becomes the commander-in-chief after the president-elect resigns to avoid indictment for shady land deals. Once Sidel moves into the Oval Office, it seems that everyone wants him out, including Gaddhafi, Colombian drug lords, the Aryan Brotherhood, Russian thugs, and “business moguls who recognized [Sidel] as an immediate threat—a Stalinist in the White House.” A weekend at Camp David turns into a coup attempt. Who’s responsible? There’s no shortage of bad actors or intrigue, but the maniacal plot and large cast of characters can be overwhelming, especially for those unfamiliar with Sidel’s backstory. Still, this bleak vision of America—capitalists and criminals are indistinguishable—clearly echoes the current state of American political life. (Oct.)