Wendy Corsi Staub
Harper, 2012, 384 Pages
ISBN No. 978-0062070289
Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid
Terrifying in more than one way, this novel holds the interest of the reader from the very beginning and just does not let go. The book begins the night before the terrorist strike on New York on September 11, 2001.
Allison Taylor lives in Manhattan and loves it. Allison is a style editor at 7th Avenue Magazine. Kristina Haines lives in the apartment above Allison’s and the two are neighbors. Kristina is an aspiring Broadway actress. The two visit in the laundry room from time to time and have exchanged keys to their apartments with each other in case of emergency.
Jerry Thompson is the maintenance man in the apartment building. Kristina tells Allison that Jerry is creeping her out. She says he is always watching her. Allison assures Kristina that Jerry is harmless. Jerry is a little slow but Allison feels that he would not hurt anyone.
Suddenly terrorists strike New York. The city is in a shambles. All members of the police departments and the fire departments are called to the scene. Many are trying to find friends and family of their own as well as looking for survivors. Allison is forced to walk most of the way home from a late party.
Allison hasn’t seen Kristina since the tragedy and thinks perhaps she went to stay with a friend but when she goes to Kristina’s apartment to check she finds that Kristina has been brutally murdered. Detective Rocko Manzillo is in charge of the investigation. He explains to Allison that although the department is short-handed the police will be at the apartment for quite some time investigating the murder. Allison tells Detective Manzillo about Kristina’s fear of Jerry but Allison doesn’t even know his last name or where to find him.
This novel gives people who did not live in New York a better view of the city after the tragedy. The murder investigation goes on in spite of Detective Manzillo being short-handed and working almost around the clock. I am ready to read the next Wendy Corsi Staub novel called Sleepwalker. There is an excerpt from the next book at the end of Nightwatcher.