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Central Park West: the unmissable debut legal thriller of the year

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The Judge is informed that “the federal authorities are actively investigating to determine who killed Tony Burke…the feds told some or all of this to the DA’s office, which has not provided anything about it to the defense. Central Park West is a fine debut in the challenging arena of legal thrillers, and James Comey’s next venture in the genre will be most welcome. Federal prosecutor Nora Carleton wants to pursue that angle and involve the FBI while the DA's office continues their trial against Kyra Burke. It’s enough to blow the case wide open, and to send Nora into a high-stakes investigation of conspiracy, corruption, and danger.

Despite these considerable problems, the result is still a tolerable legal procedural grounded by Comey’s undeniable expertise in federal investigations, which tend to be much more boring than the public thinks, even when the investigation is about murder. The non-stop description of everything and anything hasn't helped, other than to fluff out the story. However, the intelligence of the author and his sophistication of today's world of crime and legalities make this novel a big yes.

So, you’ll gather that James Comey’s foray into fiction isn’t a resounding success for me but others disagreed so be sure to check the more positive reviews. There was plenty of tension to keep the reader on the edge of their seat and the book’s pacing was good. Central Park West is a truly outstanding debut novel, a sophisticated and engaging legal thriller that grabs the reader from the opening scene and doesn’t let go until the surprising ending.

I didn’t need to know the address of every courthouse in Manhattan, but that is an insignificant quibble. When the former mayor of NYC is murdered the prosecution naturally goes after his ex-wife but when new evidence comes about. Lots of bad guys/gals in this story of a murder that turned out not to be as simple as it appeared, and an interesting portrayal of some all-too-close connections between politicians and criminals. Central Park West is a masterful blend of legal thriller, police procedural and psychological drama. For whatever reason, the Manhattan DA does not want the feds affecting the sensational murder case, so it’s up to the United States Attorney team to determine if Kyra Burke is being framed even as the trial is ongoing.The governor has something in common with Andrew Cuomo, since they both had to leave office due to sexual harassment charges. In a weirdly cute, banter-filled meeting with her defense lawyer — whose 6-foot-2 frame is, of course, “toned by hours on a Peloton” — Kyra insists that the killer must have been someone disguised to look just like her. It won’t be long before they discover that it’s related to their own investigations, and is about to put even more strain on their already-fraught relationship with the New York District Attorney’s office.

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