Heat 2
by Mann, Michael; Gardiner, Meg

Follows the formative years of homicide detective Vincent Hanna and an elite group of criminals and crime syndicates, in the new novel by the four-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker and writer-director of Heat, Collateral and Miami Vice. 200,000 first printing.

*Starred Review* As in The Godfather, Part Two, Mann and Gardiner's riveting thriller functions as both prequel and sequel, in this case to the 1995 film Heat, which was directed by Mann and starred Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. The narrative structure here is considerably more complex than in Coppola's film, however, with the before-and-after sequences intermingled as the time frame jumps between 1995, when the events of Heat took place; 1988, when the gang masterminded by superthief Neil McCauley is sparring with LAPD lieutenant Vincent Hanna; and 2000, after Chris Shiherlis (the gang's only survivor after the film's fiery finale) has escaped to South America and ingratiated himself with the Liu crime family. Meanwhile, in L.A., Hanna is tracking a gang of home invaders who are seemingly more interested in rape and murder than robbery. We sense early on that these new plots-Chris' involvement with the Liu family, Hanna's obsession with stopping the truly evil home invaders-will somehow come together, but we can't begin to anticipate the legerdemain with which the authors manage that feat, employing characters from the pre-Heat period as the connecting tissue. It's no surprise, however, that the novel concludes with a spectacular conflagration that parallels the ending of Heat. Still, the best thing about this innovative tale is the way the fully fleshed human stories support and even transcend the often-breathtaking action. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

A combination prequel and sequel to the much-admired Mann film that brought together Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. The movie climaxed in 1995, with Pacino's intense LA cop, Vincent Hanna, shooting and killing De Niro's fatalistic bank thief Neil McCauley, his nemesis and alter ego. In the "before" sections of the novel, set in 1988, Hanna pursues a sadistic home-invading gang of killers and rapists while McCauley plans the heist of millions in cartel money from a truck bound for Mexico. Following McCauley's death and a massive shootout, his wounded right-hand man, Chris Shiherlis (the Val Kilmer character), escapes to South America, where he goes to work for a Taiwanese Paraguayan crime boss. Women figure in the plots: McCauley has an affair in Mexico with Elisa, a "seventh-generation smuggler," and Chris sleeps with the crime boss's daughter, Ana, even as he pines for his estranged wife and son. Minus the film's psychological mano a mano between Hanna and McCauley, this nearly 500-page novel, Mann's first, lacks a compelling center. And in Chris, it lacks a compelling protagonist-once a sidekick, always a sidekick. Hanna's fierce efforts to save Elisa's daughter from a mad killer 12 years after her single mother was killed energize the book, leading to an explosive highway chase. But with its unwieldy structure, the novel keeps getting in its own way. And despite the collaboration of seasoned pro Gardiner, the descriptive writing is weak: "Looking into his vacant blue eyes is like staring into the black ocean at night." Ultimately, Mann has written not a self-contained novel, but a novelization of the film sequel the 79-year-old director envisions. A book hardcore fans of Mann's film may enjoy but others will dismiss as unneeded. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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