Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Review: "Big City, Bad Blood" by Sean Chercover

Here's a tip from me to you: if you love books with private investigators, a good amount of action, some twists and turns and great character development, go out and get yourself a copy of Big City, Bad Blood by Sean Chercover. This is a great book in one of the genres I love, and I'm excited to have found a relatively new author with some great storytelling skills.

Ray Dudgeon is a former journalist who left the newspaper world after realizing he couldn't really solve the problems of the world, and now he works as a private investigator. He is hired by a movie executive to protect a locations manager, who has run afoul of the Mafia (or in Chicago, "the Outfit") and faces a death threat because of his plan to testify in court. And as Dudgeon gets more involved, the killers set their sights on him as well. As he finds himself getting deeper and deeper into what seemed like a simple protection case, Dudgeon is also struggling with the pull of a romantic relationship and his own personal demons.

Chercover did a terrific job creating the characters in this book. Even those in "the Outfit" don't fall under your typical Mafioso stereotypes. And Dudgeon is more than just a thinking man's private investigator— he's principled (although not too much so), stubborn and a little too idealistic for his own good. You may be able to see some of the twists coming, but that didn't impact my enjoyment of the book. I raced through the entire thing in about a day, and I'll definitely be picking up Chercover's second book very soon.

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