Central Park West: A Crime Novel (Hardcover)
A Newsweek and Reader's Digest most-anticipated read of 2023.
In the thrilling first crime novel from the former director of the FBI, a murder investigation reveals deadly connections between high-ranking politicians and the mafia.
The gripping crime fiction debut from former FBI director James Comey takes readers deep inside the world of lawyers and investigators working to solve a murder while navigating the treacherous currents of modern politics and the mob.
When a years-long case against a powerful mobster finally cracks and an unimpeachable witness takes the stand, federal prosecutor Nora Carleton is looking forward to putting the defendant away for good. The mobster, though, has other plans. As the witness’s testimony concludes, a note is passed to the prosecution offering up information into the assassination of a disgraced former New York governor, murdered in his penthouse apartment just days before. It’s enough to blow the case wide open, and to send Nora into a high-stakes investigation of conspiracy, corruption, and danger.
Drawing from the author’s decades in federal law enforcement, including his years in Manhattan as a mob prosecutor and later the chief federal prosecutor, Central Park West is a fast-paced legal thriller with an intriguing plot enriched by real-life details and experiences. That unique perspective gives the novel much of its allure, but it’s the unforgettable characters, shocking twists, and courtroom scenes as authentic as they are dramatic that will leave readers looking forward to more from this bold new talent in the genre.
About the Author
Since graduating from the College of William and Mary in 1982 and the University of Chicago Law School in 1985, James Comey has been a prosecutor, defense lawyer, general counsel, teacher, writer, and leader. He most recently served in the US government as the Director of the FBI. His best-selling book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership was published in 2018 and was made into a 2020 television limited series. His second book, Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency, and Trust, also a New York Times best-seller, was published in 2021. His debut crime novel, Central Park West (2023), was a national bestseller, the first of a planned series of crime novels featuring attorney Nora Carleton. His newest book is Westport (2024), also a crime novel.
A nonstop thrill ride! Central Park West is a masterful blend of legal thriller, police procedural and psychological drama. And it’s populated with some of the best heroes and most evil villains to come along in years. Bravo!
— Jeffery Deaver, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Lincoln Rhyme series
Central Park West is a truly outstanding debut novel, a sophisticated and engaging legal thriller that grabs the reader from the opening scene and doesn’t let go until the surprising ending. In between the author weaves an intricate and stylish story with vivid characters, playing out in a brilliant New York setting. Comey knows exactly how things work at the FBI and DOJ, and Central Park West opens a door into a fascinating and complex world of tradecraft, criminal investigation, political corruption, legal wrangling, and murder. I loved this book—highly, highly recommended!
— Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of the celebrated Agent Pendergast series
James Comey’s intimate knowledge of law enforcement makes Central Park West a winning legal thriller, but the book is so much more than an insider’s account. Memorable characters, a gripping plot, and breathless pacing combine for a truly outstanding debut—one that announces a bold new talent in the mystery genre.
— Harlan Coben, New York Times #1 bestselling author of I Will Find You
James Comey combines his insider knowledge of every level of the justice system with a natural storytelling voice to create a winning debut in Central Park West. More books, please.
— Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of Find Me
I loved this novel. Could not put it down. Central Park West is a smart, nuanced legal thriller that truly delivers. It’s a modern ‘good guys vs the bad guys’ story in which nearly all of the good ‘guys’ are actually strong, smart, steely women. It’s a smart and satisfying read that I could not recommend more highly.
— Nicolle Wallace, host of MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” and New York Times bestselling author of Eighteen Acres
Hard to believe Central Park West is a first novel. It reeks of authenticity and the plot goes like a train. The courtroom scenes are tense and the cast of characters vivid and compelling. This is the sort of debut publishers dream of.
— Ian Rankin, internationally bestselling author of A Heart Full of Headstones and the John Rebus series
Central Park West is a great read. Brimming with been-there-done-that authority, it’s clear James Comey knows this world like the back of his hand. And he delivers it with the addictive style of an expert storyteller.
— Michael Connelly, New York Times #1 bestseller of the Harry Bosch series and Desert Star
An engrossing look at a longtime prosecutor’s world and its pain and triumphs.
— First Clue
Comey’s experience as a New York City mob prosecutor brings plenty of credibility to this fast-paced legal drama.
— Reader's Digest
A kaleidoscopic crime novel … solid and convincing, and its secret sauce is the lived-in details that can only come from someone familiar with those five steps leading up from Centre Street.
— Publishers Weekly
It’s undeniable that [Comey’s] experience brings a plethora of realism to his first attempt at writing fiction.… This one will surprise a good number of readers with how good it is.
— Ryan Steck - The Real Book Spy
A sturdy crime fiction debut … Comey draws on his vast experience in the criminal justice world to bring a sense of authenticity to the setting and plot machinations.
— Publishers Weekly
[Comey] certainly knows the world he’s writing about, but readers might be surprised by his skills as a novelist. This isn’t one of those books that's ‘pretty good for a guy who isn’t a real writer.’ It's very well executed: the characters are richly detailed, the dialogue is impressively realistic, and the plot is genuinely suspenseful…. Readers who deign to take a look only for the Comey name are likely to be surprised—in a good way.
[A] gritty crime thriller of the highest order, steeped in the greatest traditions of post-modern noir…. Comey’s debut offers us ample misdirection along with the kind of twists and turns that keep us turning the pages, in this case furiously.
Central Park West is a fine debut in the challenging arena of legal thrillers, and James Comey’s next venture in the genre will be most welcome.
— NY Journal of Books
An enjoyable and entertaining crime fiction debut. Comey imparts quite a bit of knowledge about investigative techniques and putting a criminal case together.
James Comey’s knowledge of the friction between state and federal agencies provides grist for the collision of two made-in-tabloid-heaven cases.
A terrific legal thriller…. Comey knows this world and brilliantly shines a light on the machinations of justice.
— Criminal Element
Both a fascinating procedural and a courtroom drama, there is much to like about this novel, and how it rings with authenticity.
— Manila Bulletin