Onyx, Jul 2002, 6.99, 384 pp.
Ukrainian hitman Andrew Karis is a pro who never makes a mistake or leaves behind a loose end. His current assignment takes place in La Florentine, a Manhattan bar just before closing. He kills forty-five years old Candy Mayhew, her mid thirties lover miner mobster Donny Cesare, and the bartender Hugh Byrne. However, coming out of the bathroom is private detective Tony DiLeo, doing surveillance on Candy for her spouse. Caught off guard, Andrew shoots the sleuth, but the last victim barely survives and is rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
MANHATTAN SOUTH homicide detective Sergeant Thornton Savage and his team head the investigation. On first look the cops eliminate robbery as the motive. The case appears either to have been a mob hit on Donny or a cuckold husband killing his wife and her lover. However, the investigation begins to take strange twists that reach the highest level of political power in this country leaving a good caring cop in jeopardy of his job and reputation as nothing stands in the way of ambition.
Fans of police procedurals will welcome John Mackie into the sub-genre after reading the powerful MANHATTAN SOUTH. The story line is fast-paced, loaded with action, and filled with twists caused by external pressures. Thornton and his crew comes across as individuals yet a professional team while the villains include a great hitman and a Lady Macbeth type character. Though the NYPD brass is politically stereotyped, readers will enjoy this tale that starts faster than a colt and retains the speed and action until the tight end.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner