Reviewed By: Woodstock - RAM
Amazon US HC Amazon Canada HC
Class/Genre: Mystery Military Private Investigator Hard Boiled Conspiracy Noir Espionage
Series: Ray Dudgeon # 2
William Morrow, 2008
Ray Dungeon is hurting, in both body and soul. A satisfying conclusion to an earlier case, at least in terms of catching the bad guys, has left him with a painful lingering shoulder injury and a broken relationship with the woman he loves.
So when a prospective client approaches him, offers him a hefty fee in return for exclusive call on his time and paints a situation which seems to imply a fairly easy investigative job, Ray takes the offer.
He is to find out what he can about a woman recently killed in a bizarre murder suicide, in order to satisfy the grieving curiousity of her surviving father. Sounds simple enough, right? But, of course, things don't start out simple and then events begin to get worse. Tracing her employment history, Dungeon finds too many people willing to sum up events in too few evasive sentences. When he persists in asking questions his contacts prefer to remain unanswered, he realizes that he is being pursued by truly suspicious characters and that virtually every one he is close to is in mortal danger.
As in BIG CITY, BAD BLOOD, the city of Chicago is an onlooking character in all the action. Iconic neighborhood bars, smoky hangouts for hard drinking journalists, neighborhoods being made over and alternatively lingering in limbo inhabit the pages and provide an intriguing background for the action.
About three quarters of the way through the book, Chercover dishes up one of the most startling "gotcha!'s" I've ever encountered on the printed page. From then on what had been a puzzling game of cat and mouse is no longer puzzling. And it's clear that very powerful people will stop at nothing to get their own way.
Chercover's latest is a satisfying white knuckle ride, and highly recommended.
Woodstock - RAM
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