Big City, Bad Blood marks the debut of a promising new author in crime fiction. Sean Chercover's first outing reads as though it were written by a veteran crime author.
The story is told in first person by Ray Dudgeon, a middle-aged private eye. Ray is hired to protect a B-list film studio exec who unwittingly became entangled with the Chicago mafia. Ray knows Chicago well and has dealings with The Outfit in the past. As Ray tried to keep his client alive, he becomes caught in the middle of a mob turf war and uncovers a scandal involving many high-placed officials in the Chicago government.
There is plenty of action and violence in Big City, Bad Blood. The tone and style is reminiscent of pulp fiction, but the characters (especially Dudgeon) are remarkably fleshed out and complex for a crime novel. Fans of the Hard Case Crime series should enjoy this book. I am looking forward to the next in the series.
I started reading this book after meeting the author in an online mystery group and then in person at a booksigning in a local mystery bookstore. At first I was worried, as after just a few pages, thought to myself, "Oh no! It's a MOB book!" Mob books and movies are definitely not my favorites. As in, I would not knowingly pick one up. LOL But I kept reading for a few more pages, and the next thing you know, I was coming up for air at the end of chapter nine! This is the best hardboiled PI mystery that I've read in a long time, mob book or no. PI Ray Dudgeon is a likable, if doomed character with a set of very interesting friends and acquaintances, some of whom are affiliated with the Chicago "Outfit" as we're told the Mafia are referred to there. Excellent book. Fast-paced, well-plotted and with well-fleshed characters, it's hard to believe that it's a first novel--and I'm not just saying that because the author is a nice guy, either! LOL
A good first book by the author that I was able get through quickly, and the author has set up a number of characters for a potential ongoing relationship. Unfortunately I read this book immediately after "Shadow Man" and I'm afraid this book may have been unfairly overwhelmed by "Shadow Man's" impression on me. Might be best to re-read this one in the future.
Fans of Lehane and Crais will love this new addition to the PI world. Chercover fails to deliver anything new and his experience as a real life PI is lost in this all to familiar story that never escapes genre stereotypes. This holds the book back from greatness but while its familiar, its also a whole lot of fun. I started it on a Saturday morning and couldn't put it down till finishing it that evening.
A really good read...can't wait to get Chercover's next one!