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From The CriticsIn this finely crafted book, a departure from his more ambitious thrillers, author Deaver works with a more focused plot and fewer characters. John Pellam is working on a documentary about the people who live in Hell's Kitchen, a rough New York neighborhood. His principal subject is Ettie Washington, a seventy-two-year-old black woman who has lived in the area her entire life. One day, while walking up the stairs to Ettie's apartment to tape yet another interview, Pellam is caught in a fiery explosion that decimates the building, injures Ettie and kills a child. The authorities quickly conclude that the fire was the work of a young arsonist named Sonny. Based on their limited evidence, they further suggest that Sonny was hired by the elderly Ettie as part of an insurance scam. Convinced of Ettie's innocence, Pellam shoulders his camera and begins asking questions throughout the neighborhood. In his search for leads, the filmmaker crosses paths with a Cuban gang member, a homeless kid and a billionaire real estate developer, among others. In Hell's Kitchen, every character has a hidden agenda that is only revealed at the exciting climax.