The Terrorist Next Door, Sheldon Siegel (Poisoned Pen Press)


Siegel steps aside from his Mike Daley series of San Francisco–set legal thrillers to tell a story about a Chicago homicide cop, David Gold, who becomes the reluctant leader in a race to uncover the identity of a terrorist bomber who’s targeting well-known Chicago landmarks. Moments before he’s to receive a Medal of Valor (for his actions in foiling an earlier terrorist bombing attempt), a car bomb explodes, and Gold’s cell phone receives a text message: “It isn’t over.” As the unknown terrorist sets off one car bomb after another, he continues to taunt Gold via text messages, and soon Gold is forced to confront the frightening possibility that this might not be your “usual” terrorist but someone with a more personal agenda. Siegel, who hails from Chicago, makes the most of the setting—the book is a sort of frantic, panic-filled guided tour of the city—and, as a protagonist, Gold is at least as compelling as Mike Daley. Put this one on your Windy City crime-fiction list.

This review originally appeared in Booklist, June 2013.


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