Gone by Morning

Crooked Lane. Aug. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781643857404. $27.99. M
DEBUT When a bomb explodes in a New York City subway station, it changes the lives of three women. Ex-madam Kathleen Harris, 68, survives the event and walks home to the apartment building she owns. City Hall press officer Emily Silverman, 26, and her young daughter Skye are tenants in Kathleen’s building. As Emily returns home the night of the bombing, she sees a woman getting into a car with a man. When that woman is found murdered, Emily recognizes her from a photo: it’s Sharon, a sex worker who once worked for Kathleen. Emily and Kathleen stir up trouble as they investigate Sharon’s murder. Soon Kathleen’s apartment building blows up, and she, Emily, and Skye barely escape; Kathleen is then arrested for arson, and her bank account is wiped out. Emily’s determined to help Kathleen and asks her divorce lawyer mother Lauren Cintron to take her case. Lauren recognizes Kathleen immediately and is reluctant to defend the mother she thinks abandoned her as a child. Emily never knew that Kathleen was her grandmother, who had spent five years in prison for homicide. Emily, Lauren, and Kathleen are so entangled that they pose a threat to a powerful political figure with connections to the subway bomber.
VERDICT Miller’s background as a lawyer in New York brings an authenticity to this intense, intricately plotted thriller. The politics and menacing atmosphere combine in a promising debut.
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