For a truly repulsive subject matter, The Interceptor is a truly fascinating mystery. I mean, how much do you want to think about the New York City waste disposal system?
Still, I couldnít help rooting for Jon Kessler when he discovered corruption in the borough government that put him in the same kind of bad spot the Jack Ryan found himself in in Clear and Present Danger. And I couldnít help worrying about him when the folks who were trying to frame him caught on and decided it was time for him to "go away" in a permanent sense. He became a real person with an evil boss and hopeless employees and less than perfect marriage. And the evil boss, the hopeless employees, and the less than perfect wife became real enough for me to hate, puzzle over and fear for in turn.
The other thing that really impressed me about this mystery was the way the information about the operation was worked into the story without an infodump. Thereís a long lecturing section at one point, but Jon is lecturing to an intern and thereís a lot of character development happening too. The political machinations are worked in so that they make sense in the context. Plus, all the discussion about the city sewer system came in handy when I read Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry. Thereís a whole section that takes place in the sewers of Corescant and I knew what was going on (woohoo!)
This was a surprisingly good novel. Iím not a big fan of New York, I donít know anybody whoís a big fan of sewers and I donít tend to like modern, non-supernatural mysteries, but this one caught me. I think the best part of this mystery was the resolution. Part of it I had figured out way ahead of time, the other part caught me totally by surprise and any mystery that can do that deserves laurels.