ABSENT FRIENDS (Novel-NY-Cont) – G+ S.J. Rozen – Standalone
Delacorte Press, 2004 – Hardcover

James McCaffery, a NYFD captain, is one of the fallen heroes of 9/11. But reporter Harry Randell seems to believe James may not have always been so heroic and was involved with a known mobster. When Harry dies of an apparent suicide, a fellow reporter picks up Harry’s leads.

Not as much a mystery as a character study, it vacillates between multiple characters and two time periods, which I found tiring and a bit confusing. Rozen’s depiction of 9/11 and its aftermath are remarkable and sad, and the characters are a reflection of that. However, I found the end very unsatisfying. Parts of the book are very well done and, as Ms. Rosen is a resident of NYC, I certainly understand its impetus. But personally, I’ll admit I am anxious for the return of Bill and Lydia.

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