Action / Suspense
Written by: Lorenzo Carcaterra
Published By: Ballantine Books
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Years ago, I had discovered a talent in Lorenzo Carcaterra – once you began reading one of his books, you couldn’t put it down. It all started with Sleepers, a novel about Lorenzo’s younger years spent in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. From there, it was on to his sequel, A Safe Place. I knew Carcaterra could write nonfiction and that his writing style was so captivating, you simply had to know what happens next. But could he do fiction, and not just any fiction – could he do action-packed, filled with suspense fiction? That was when Carcaterra’s novel, Apaches, hit the bookstores. After reading the first few pages about a group of cops forced to retire due to on-the-job injuries who find themselves unable to stay away from the job, I was hooked. The book was so action-packed, so suspenseful, I didn’t want it to end. Well, it did end…but happily, Lorenzo Carcaterra wrote a sequel – Chasers.
Chasers finds former narcotics cop Boomer Frontieri mourning the senseless murder of his beloved niece at the hands of drug dealers. Hers was an innocent death. Working as a waitress in a diner, it was not Boomer’s niece that was the target, but a couple of drug slingers who happened to choose that diner to have their last meal. Now, Boomer wants revenge. Best friend Dead Eye is right by his side, but two disabled ex-cops against an entire South American drug cartel seems awfully tough odds. Can Boomer and Dead Eye assemble a top notch team of ex-cops with the same never-say-die attitude as the original Apaches? Will they be enough to go up against one of the toughest drug cartels to ever hit the streets of New York?
I fell in love with Boomer, Dead Eye and Rev. Jim in Apaches and I was sorry to come to the last page of that novel and realize the exciting ride was over, so you can imagine how thrilled I was that Carcaterra had decided to write a sequel. A former writer and producer for the popular television show Law & Order, Lorenzo Carcaterra has a way of catching the reader’s attention and holding it, creating characters that readers can relate to. The reader becomes invested in the characters’ outcome from the very start of the novel. Action sequences are just what the cop show/book fan ordered, so descriptive that you can actually picture the scenes taking place in your mind’s eye. The fact that the novel takes place in New York is a plus – being from New York myself, I enjoyed the fact that I could recognize most of the locales used for the novel.
There are times where Carcaterra falls into that age-old detective novel trap. You know the one – where the author is trying to describe a scene and becomes a tad bit detective-noir: “It was a cloudless New York morning, the type of sun-drenched day that made the city streets glimmer…” You can almost here Humphrey Bogart’s tough guy narration while reading these words. Thankfully, the author refrains from using this style too often.
I have to say, I found Chasers to be an incredibly fast-paced read. I was thoroughly invested in the characters and their outcome and the action came fast and furious from the very beginning of the novel. Chasers has one helluva twist at the end of the novel that will leave you scratching your head and wondering how you never picked up the clues to the surprise ending. And trust me, those clues are there if you’re observant enough. Fans of law enforcement, vigilante and action stories are going to love reading Lorenzo Carcaterra’s Chasers. However, I must suggest you read Apaches first. Chasers often refers to events that took place in Apaches and, although you won’t be lost if you choose to read Chasers first, you will find some small things easier to understand if you follow my suggestion. I wonder if anyone will ever buy the rights to these novels and turn them into movies or perhaps a television series. Of so, you can count on me to be first in line to check them out!