Friday, January 23, 2009

Broken Wing-Thomas Lakeman

Broken Wing
Thomas Lakeman
Minotaur, Mar 2009, $25.95
ISBN 9780312380229

In New Orleans the FBI assigns forty-something Special Agent Mike Yeager to go undercover as a rogue operative in order to gain insider access to the growing Barca mob. Mike thinks it is a small world as he once dated the chieftain’s daughter Sofia, who he deserted two decades ago to turn in her dad. Mike’s current task is to help the mobster expedite the sale of kidnapped Amrita Burke, whose husband was murdered during the abduction.

His actual task is to stealthily investigate who brutalized and killed British citizen Simon Burke and has offered up his wife Amrita up for bid. Mike meets with chieftain Emelio Barca and his half-son Grady, who agree to his working with them on the Amrita sale. However, his efforts to find her spouse’s killer and ultimately rescue Amrita take a personal spin when he realizes Sofia needs his help too.

The still devastated parts of the post Katrina city steals the show in this superb police procedural as neighborhoods have become urban wastelands. The hero quickly learns to trust no one, especially those who are supposedly his FBI support group, if he is to accomplish his mission and leave New Orleans alive. There is plenty of explosive action and double and triple crosses on all sides including the law as avarice and corruption greet Yeager everywhere he goes. He already has enough of a burden with remorse, guilt and psychological defense mechanisms loading him down before he arrives (see The Shadow Catchers), but the BROKEN WING undercover operative will quickly understand he is in the eye of the hurricane.

Harriet Klausner