Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Big City, Bad Blood by, Sean Chercover

Hollywood locations manager Bob Lonski has seen something he shouldn’t have while working in Chicago. His studio hires PI Ray Dudgeon to protect him. Dudgeon, like all good private investigators, starts to dig and finds himself in the middle of an internal mafia power struggle.

This debut novel from Sean Chercover has won well-deserved praise from many circles. Chercover does a good job of respecting the PI genre while giving us something fresh. The story is entertaining, the prose is clean, and the characters believable. I do have my quibbles with the book. There are occasions where Chercover dives too deep some details that the reader probably doesn’t care about (two pages on how Dudgeon’s apartment is decorated; a page and a half on Dudgeon waking up in Washington, D.C., eating lunch, then driving back to Chicago). Though there are scenes that are nearly flawless: the car/pool and when Dudgeon is interrogated.

The debut novelists of 2007 really hit it out of the park. Chercover, Marcus Sakey (The Blade Itself), and Dave White (When One Man Dies) all had their debuts published that year. While I like Big City, Bad Blood and it was deserving of all the awards it won, my votes would’ve gone to The Blade Itself. There’s something meaty about Sakey’s writing that give it an edge.

Big City, Bad Blood comes recommended.

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