In the middle of a blizzard, down a busy New York avenue, into a moving car.
And there’s nothing worse than hunting a killer with a rifle in a city of windows.
The agent in charge knows only one man with the skills to work out where the bullet came from. Lucas Page, physics professor and maths prodigy, quit the FBI after it nearly cost him his life. But he can’t resist the call to help, to prove that he is still capable of extraordinary things.
Because Page is wired to see crime from a different angle. The science that explains the impossible shot. The geometry that reveals the killer’s location. The logic that tells him this shooter has killed like this before. And will do it again, and again, until they are stopped…
The murder of his ex-partner draws Lucas Page back into working an extraordinary case in a frozen New York approaching Christmas. Page has left the FBI behind, invalided out by an event that nearly killed him, intriguingly we never really find out what happened, and having started a new life and a new career. He and his family are planning a quiet Christmas, some chance!
Page has exceptional skills, but he knows that making them useful to the FBI will draw him back into the old life. His character is well drawn and though his skills may be extraordinary he suffers human dilemmas between family and the case. He is never comfortable back at the FBI and his relationships are largely antagonistic, but he is relatable, believable and sympathetic.
As the story develops we are drawn into the plot as unwillingly as he is drawn back into the life and politics of the FBI, personified by his enigmatic, political and calculating ex-boss and case leader Kehoe. There is history between them, related to Page’s injuries which we never really get into. In their own ways they need each other even as their investigations diverge.
As the killer strikes again and again the weather is used to make the story more and more claustrophobic and the pace is relentless; you can feel the agents becoming more tired and desperate as the story twists and turns and the investigation lurches in one direction and another.
The concerns, prejudices and political views of modern America are used as context and plot devices with the dilemma around gun-ownership and second amendment rights in a country where terrorists are seen as a greater threat than the threat of an American with a gun.
We’ve learnt something about Lucas Page in this book, but I suspect there is more to learn about this curious character, his history and his investigative skills, hopefully there will be further instalments, although the pace and plot of this adventure will be hard to beat.
This is one of the proof copies I received in my Theakston Crime weekend tote bag, and it was a great read. Check my Instagram page for a clip of the proof copy.
City Of Windows is published by Mulholland Books and was released yesterday (Aug 6 2019)