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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616826703
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616826703
  • ASIN: B001O9CF04
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sakey's second crime novel doesn't quite measure up to his impressive debut, The Blade Itself (2007), but it exhibits many of the same strengths: high-tension action, intricate plotting and a Chicago setting that thrums and pulses with the feel of the city. Jason Palmer, a veteran of the current Iraq war haunted by his experiences, has yet to settle down, unlike his older brother, Michael, who runs a bar in their old South Side Chicago neighborhood and is raising an eight-year-old son, Billy. But when Michael is murdered and Billy threatened, Jason finds himself reacting in the only way he knows—as a soldier. Soldiering, however, is only part of the answer, and Jason has to come to terms with his past, weigh new responsibilities and counter the carnage that gang warfare, political corruption and corporate greed are wreaking on the neighborhood. Sakey, who draws disturbing and thought-provoking parallels between Baghdad and Chicago, provides enough narrow escapes, traps and obstacles to satisfy a Die Hard fan, but enough meat to please readers who demand more than pyrotechnics. Author tour. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"At the City's Edge crackles and sears like a rip-roaring fire."
--Tess Gerritsen, author of The Bone Garden
"Goes from zero to sixty in a blazing rush. Sakey knows how to thrill a reader."
--David Morrell, author of Creepers

More About the Author

Marcus Sakey's thrillers have been nominated for more than fifteen awards, named New York Time's Editor's Picks, and selected among Esquire's Top 5 Books of The Year. His novel GOOD PEOPLE was made into a movie starring James Franco and Kate Hudson, and BRILLIANCE is currently in development with Legendary Pictures (Inception, The Dark Knight.)

Marcus was also the host of the acclaimed television show "Hidden City" on Travel Channel, for which he was routinely pepper-sprayed and attacked by dogs.

Prior to writing, he worked as a landscaper, a theatrical carpenter, a 3D animator, a movie reviewer, a tutor, and a graphic designer who couldn't draw.

He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. His website is MarcusSakey.com, or follow him on Facebook (Facebook.com/MarcusSakey) or Twitter, where he posts under the clever handle @MarcusSakey.

Customer Reviews

The characters are well developed and fit the plot.
CB
One or two of the characters may be a bit predictable but it is really a minor detail among all of the skill exemplified in this book.
K. Holmes
His writing style is one that will keep you wanting to read "just one more page" in order to see what happens next.
Bobbewig

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Epstein on July 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Jason Palmer is a former soldier. A veteran of Iraq, he returned to Chicago with a less than honorable discharge and no future. He finds out, too late, that his brother is attempting to face down a criminal enterprise. Jason, his nephew, and Elena Cruz, a tough Chicago cop get to the bottom of things, encountering an alliance of corrupt city officals and gangsters.

This is an outstanding chase novel. The characters are extremely engaging. The reltionship between Jason and Elena is delightful (never mind that it develops in an impossibly brief time). The suspense is never ending. Each cliff hanger chapter end is followed by rapid, unexpected developments. The novel explores (painlessly) concepts of duty, a soldier's code of honor, the war in Iraq, and the heartache of parenting. The gang characters are chilling as well as engaging.
This is an outstanding effort. I strongly recommend the book and Sankey's earlier stand alone,"The Blalde Itself."
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lynn B. Kostoff on January 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A fine piece of writing with a complex and conflicted protagonist in war-veteran Jason Palmer, powerfully rendered Chicago settings, a colorful and engaging mix of secondary characters, a conspiracy worthy of any paranoid's worst fears, and a plot-line that redefines unpredictable.

A novel that's both entertaining and ambitious. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Scott Walker on February 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Another stay-up-late, page-turner from a deft crime writer that deserves to be on your nightstand.

While his first, "The Blade Itself" will remain my favorite (if you haven't discovered this pulse-pounder already, stop reading this and go add it to your cart pronto), City's Edge gives it a run for its money. Sakey stomped on the gas here in a more ambitious story that gets even more dirt under its fingernails, more complexity in its characters and more stakes that leave a higher body count its wake and your heart leaping from your throat. Throw in some deftly woven social commentary and a villain that sneers with the best of them and you've got one fun book that's head and shoulders above most of his peers.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Thriller Lover VINE VOICE on February 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed Marcus Sakey's debut, THE BLADE ITSELF, so much that I rushed out and read his second book without thinking twice. But I must admit I was pretty disappointed with his sophomore effort.

AT THE CITY'S EDGE is well written (Sakey definitely knows how to write forceful, punchy prose) but the story has very little originality. In fact, most of the scenes and situations in this novel are recycled from other books and TV shows I have either read or seen. Jason Palmer, the tortured Iraq war veteran with a dark secret he refuses to discuss, is the type of character I've seen before in countless books.

The same thing could be said about Elena Cruz, the tough Latina cop who makes the mistake of sleeping with one of her male superiors. Hey, what are the chances that Jason and Elena fall for each other? Close to certain, I would say. It also doesn't help that most of the other supporting characters are stereotypes, straight from central casting, including the little boy that Jason must bond with by the end of the story.

The actual plot itself, about gang warfare and police/political corruption, is pretty much by-the-numbers stuff and unfolds predictably. Sakey tries to make some legitimate points about gang life in the inner city, but he isn't particularly subtle about how he makes his points, which makes parts of AT THE CITY'S EDGE seem rather heavy-handed.

In short, I was disappointed with this effort. I think Sakey is a very talented writer, but I hope his next novel contains a more inspired storyline than what I found here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred Luke on June 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jason Palmer returns from Iraq as a lost soul until the sudden death of his brother leaves him with his brother's young son and a mystery to solve in order to protect him. The action is based on information of mass political corruption that involves the police, political leaders, and local gangs. Marcus Sakey does a fair job of weaving the convoluted action, and creating the flawed characters trying to survive while seeking for their purpose and redemption. For all that's going on here, the story still seems bland and predictible. Who is the anonymous source of this damaging information? Something that the characters do not even seem to wonder or care about. Of course the answer is provided at the end with an attempted twist that at least I saw coming all along. I liked that the ending did not resolve everything and left Jason at a crossroad of loyalty and redemption. But I still felt that Sakey was over his head and everything seemed a bit messy. Also, I believe that Sakey uses too much introspection to define his characters rather than developing them through their actions or conversation, as Dennis Lehane or Robert B. Parker would do. This along with a tighter, more eventive plot would make for a more interesting read.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on February 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Marcus Sakey won critical and popular acclaim with THE BLADE ITSELF, his debut novel. His sophomore effort, AT THE CITY'S EDGE, is a gutsy change of pace from its predecessor.

While highlighting Sakey's canny ability for thriller writing, AT THE CITY'S EDGE is at its core a mystery, one that is complex, multilayered and, above all, intriguing. The primary character, as with THE BLADE ITSELF, is the author's beloved Chicago, but his latest book introduces an entirely new and riveting cast of personalities to bounce off of his fast-moving plot.

Chief among them is Jason Palmer, an Iraq war veteran whose discharge "for reasons other than honorable" chafes him internally as he returns to his old neighborhood. Jason realizes immediately that he has only exchanged one war for another when his brother Michael is brutally murdered. A tavern owner and community activist, Michael had been extremely vocal about gang activity in his local area and made a number of dangerous enemies. When he is killed during the torching of his business in front of his young son, Billy, it appears that he is yet another victim of an ongoing and apparently never-ending street war. Billy's description of his father's assailants, however, doesn't quite equate with that conclusion.

Jason doesn't have much time to puzzle it out, because even as they are grieving, he all too quickly learns that the men who killed his brother are now after Billy as well. Jason and Billy find themselves on the run, but Jason wants revenge for his brother's death, even as he discovers that the reasons for Michael's execution are more complicated than he originally thought.
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