What young reporter doesn’t dream of the perfect story? Stuck in Bergen, New Jersey, Chris Turley is no exception, his work hardly offering the cachet to catapult into the national headlines. All the more suspicious, then, is a rendezvous with a source at a critical moment, the site of an explosion at a medical building. Waiting nearby to meet his source, Chris is first on the scene, turning in a first-person account of the incident. A few follow-up stories give the young reporter a taste for the excitement of being at the right place at the right time on a breaking news story.
Then he receives another tip - this one leading to a political scandal that again captures the headlines, Chris now a local star and picked up by the national news services. But with the “circumstantial” discovery of the dead body of a missing man, Chris begins to understand that his success has not been at the hands of fate but rather the instigation of one man, the original source who led him to the area of the medical building before the explosion.
Turley must face the ugly reality of his situation. While colleagues compare him to his father, an iconic hero of the journalistic community, Chris knows better, their relationship fraught with emotional turmoil. Unfortunately more bodies pile up, Chris the perfect vehicle for a twisted mind seeking revenge. Chris is the star of a meticulously plotted scheme of a clever psychopath, caught in a web of deceit that he is unable to untangle, the killer leaving no trail to follow. Known to Turley only as PT, the killer is not about to be caught by his own pawn: “It’s all about him. And it’s all about my father.”
The story is chilling, the protagonist likable, irreverent, with just enough self-doubt to fall into the trap PT has set for him, his distant father hardly the mentor Chris’s colleagues at the office believe him to be. Now he is just a young reporter, out of his depth and angry at his helplessness in a novel that mixes old-time reportage with modern technology and the usual bureaucratic snarls of federal and state agencies.
Rosenfelt writes with a gritty energy, avoiding the pitfalls of predictability and the usual clichés, manipulating characters and circumstances in a wild pursuit that leaves Chris dancing to the tune of a madman in a manhunt that is better than most. The final resolution awaits, innocent victims hostage to the demands of a killer who has no qualms, one reporter against the crazed machinations of his tormenter - and this career move may be his last.