From Publishers Weekly
Hamill (North River) forays into Dominic Dunne society crime territory before veering uncomfortably into a far-fetched terrorist plot. Just as the last ever edition of the New York World is getting put to bed, veteran editor Sam Briscoe stops the presses for a sensational murder: socialite Cynthia Harding and her personal secretary are found stabbed to death in Harding's Manhattan town house. The story unfolds in time-stamped, you-are-there bursts that follow a large cast, including several journalists; Cynthia's adopted daughter; a disgraced Madoff-like financier; a media blogger; the murdered secretary's husband, a police officer assigned to a counterterrorism task force, as well as their son, a convert to radical Islam; and best of all by the weary and worldly Briscoe himself. Hamill is at his best in the Briscoe portions, rich in print anecdotes and mournful for a passing age, but as both the initial murders and the closing of the paper play into a larger plot and the young extremist becomes the driving force of the novel, the quality slides precipitously, and, as if sensing defeat, the book is brought to a too abrupt conclusion with most of the principals gathered for a group of scenes that strain credulity. Hamill nails the dying newsroom, but gets lost on the terrorism beat. (May)
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PRAISE FOR NORTH RIVER
"Lovely, richly textured....Is there another living writer with as firm a grasp on the city's sidewalks, its buildings, its history?" (Cleveland Plain Dealer Scott Stephens
"Hamill's love story casts an engaging spell, and Manhattan-lovers will delight in the gritty particulars." (Entertainment Weekly Tanner Stransky
seduces us with the author's sweetly convinced nostalgia for his city....Hamill's a smart guy and a fluent writer, and few people have written quite so beautifully about New York as he has." (Los Angeles Times Tim Rutten
"Hamill has crafted a beautiful novel, rich in New York City detail and ambience, that showcases the power of human goodness and how love, in its many forms, can prevail in an unfair world." (Publishers Weekly (starred review)