A tough New York City cop is on the trail of deadly terrorists -- and Gary Doer is right in the middle of it.
What role does Doer play? You'll have to read this crackerjack first novel by Law & Order creator Dick Wolf to find out.
Suffice it to say that Doer appears in The Intercept as Canada's ambassador to the U.S., one of about half a dozen real-life figures incorporated into this terrific contemporary thriller. He is connected to the involvement of a Canadian hero in a thwarted terrorist attack. A fellow named Obama is among the other real-life characters..
Jeremy Fisk is a tough and smart NYPD cop in the intelligence division that was created after 9/11 -- think of Law & Order's Jerry Orbach's portrayal of Det. Lennie Briscoe with a lot more authority.
Early on in the novel, Fisk confronts a terrorist threat against New York and, as a result, gets to be part of the team of investigators that goes through Osama bin Laden's effects, looking for clues to the plots that bin Laden was hatching at the time the SEALs arrived.
Gosh, do you think that Fisk comes across anything?
What ensues is a humdinger of a read, as plot after plot unfolds, carried out by a series of terrorists, some of whom you'll spot coming, some of whom -- well, don't be surprised by anything.
When a TV type writes a novel, there's a chance he'll go the Michael Crichton route and produce an outline for a screenplay instead of a book. But Wolf provides a lot of characterization and a lot of plot.
Heads up going into this novel that Wolf lays out his politics right up front, then refrains from pounding the reader over the head with his beliefs.
Wolf has no time for those of us who are liberal pinko bleeding-heart civil libertarians who believe that the American Constitution should always be revered.
Wolf isn't really into worrying about what the vast majority of Muslims are like. He's out to warn us westerners that the more ordinary a Muslim appears, the more comfortable a Muslim is in living alongside western values, the more likely he or she is to be planning to kill the rest of us -- and none more so than white western converts to Islam.
Both President Barrack Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush prefaced every discussion of Muslim terrorists by pointing out that they're an infinitesimal fraction of Islamic people, who overwhelmingly abhor violence.
Maybe Wolf didn't think it necessary to have one of his characters say that, or maybe he just doesn't believe it.
Wolf may not be about bringing people together in peace and harmony, but he's a candidate for political thriller author rookie of the year.
Nick Martin is a Free Press reporter.