Broken Window by Dorothy H. Hayes is set in NYC in the summer of 1984 — a time when the subway was not a safe place for travel, as evidenced by a missing NYU student (available March 3, 2015).
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It's the summer of 1984, and New York City is steaming in more ways than one. Local politicians are spending lots of time arguing in the media but doing relatively little to relieve the stress of mass-transit problems. New York needs its subways and busses to keep the city going, but they were like a tea kettle set to boil.
The subway was dangerous. But the three girls wouldn’t take no for an answer. Kelly Singleton was moving from her Connecticut home into her NYU dorm, and the subway was part of her new life, she told her concerned parents.
Jamie Ryan and Christina Moore were her two best friends and would be visiting Kelly whenever they could. They insisted that they needed to learn how to navigate mass transportation.
For all three of them, riding the subway was a rite of passage. That was their final plea.
The old, rusted trains they were so anxious to ride broke down regularly, leaving passengers to wait, sometimes forty minutes and longer, in dangerous circumstances, their parents argued. The Daily News and The New York Times frequently reported gang violence on the trains, which in the last ten years had become the symbol of the city’s rising crime rate.