Michael is in New York during the 9/11 terrorist attack while his fiancee Natasha is out of contact in Jamaica where she suffers her own violent personal crisis which she hides from Michael. The novel turns on the devastating impact of the national disaster on their relationship. Some readers (myself included) have felt the characters could perhaps be a little more appealing but others have found them very human in their flaws. A good read.
He went out and walked down the blocks, hearing the sirens, his head throbbing, the gritty air smelling of exhaust and drywall and plastic and scarily, of jet fuel. All his training and all the years of practicing his vocation rose in him, and he looked for some way to help those he encountered on the street - but no one looked at him: they were all moving as if in a kind of severe blundering trance, northward.