14 March 2008

Book Banter -- At the City's Edge

Title: At the City's Edge
Author: Marcus Sakey
Length: ~300 pages
Genre: crime thriller
Plot Basics: Jason Palmer has been coasting through life since he came back from Iraq. Jogging one day, he's nearly abducted by a Chicago gang member, getting away only because of his combat training. The gang member implies Jason's brother, Michael, is involved in something and Jason wants to find out what. Later, when Michael's bar is burned down and Michael is killed in the blaze, Jason vows to protect his nephew Billy and find out the truth about what Michael was doing. Jason starts working with Chicago PD detective Elena Cruz and together they take discover a plot to turn a poor neighborhood upside down as they maneuver through this domestic war zone of gangs and drive-by shootings.
Banter Points: Word Nerd was really excited for Sakey's new book because she enjoyed his debut novel, "The Blade Itself." First, "At the City's Edge" was a better book for Word Nerd than the first; the plot was tighter, the characters sharper. Second, maybe it's just because Word Nerd works with poverty all the time in her day job, the book's look at what life is really like on the streets in a low-income neighborhood and the forces working against today's youth was very believable.
Bummer Points: Sakey did a little of his transition word to start a sentence at the end of a chapter/section break that bugged Word Nerd in the first book, but it was much less noticeable this time out.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Read it. Sakey is going to be a force to watch in the world of crime/thriller fiction.

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