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The Chicago Way [Kindle Edition]

Michael Harvey
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.96 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Private detective Michael Kelly is hired by his former partner to solve an eight-year old rape and battery case long gone cold. But when the partner turns up dead, Kelly enlists a team of his savviest colleagues to connect the dots between the recent murder and the cold case it revived: a television reporter whose relationship with Kelly is not strictly professional; his best friend from childhood, a forensic DNA expert; and an old ally from the DA's office. To close the case, Kelly will have to face the mob, a serial killer, his own double-crossing friends, and the mean streets of the city he loves.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Significant Seven, August 2007: Michael Harvey’s gritty debut, The Chicago Way, rips the classic crime novels of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett from their 30s origins and slams them like a brass fist into the teeth of modern-day Chicago. All of the pieces are here: Chandler’s Byzantine plots and tack-sharp dialogue; a smorgasbord of knuckle sandwiches to sate the die-hard Hammett fan; and a damaged dame (platinum blonde, natch), straight out of a James Cain roadside diner. Seemingly destined for noir greatness, The Chicago Way both respects its gnarled roots and catapults hardboiled crime fiction into a new century. --Jon Foro

P.I. Michael Kelly's Chicago
So where does a detective go to quench his thirst in the Windy City? The author offers Kelly's top five places to get a pint.

1. The Hidden Shamrock, 2723 North Halsted Street
Best pint of Guinness in the city. Besides, Kelly knows the owners.

2. Celtic Crossings, 751 North Clark Street
A print of James Joyce’s death mask hangs in a frame behind the bar. Around closing, it’s the liveliest-looking thing in the place.

3. Billy Goat Tavern, 430 North Michigan Avenue, Lower Level
A Chicago legend. And a good place to eavesdrop on the ink-stained wretches that make a living out of other people’s misfortune, also known as newspaper reporters. (Learn more about the Billy Goat when Kelly drops in for a drink in his second novel, due out in 2008.)

4. Hopleaf Bar, 5148 North Clark Street
Beer in three hundred different flavors. Need we say more?

5. Coq D’Or inside the Drake Hotel, 140 East Walton Place
Old school Chicago. Order an Executive Martini, made with eight ice cubes and poured from a brandy snifter. Then find yourself a cab home.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Harvey's debut delivers a fast-paced thrill ride through Chicago's seedy underbelly, where the lines between cops and criminals become dangerously blurred. When his old partner asks for help with an old rape case, Michael Kelly, former Chicago detective turned PI, finds himself in the middle of a massive coverup with links to a notorious serial killer on death row. With the help of his childhood friend, DNA analyst Nicole Andrews, feisty and sexy TV reporter Diane Lindsay and a handful of cops he hopes he can trust, Kelly must solve the original rape case while staying alive as the men who killed to keep a secret set their sights on him. Harvey, the cocreator and executive producer of A&E's Cold Case Files, spins a twisted story that masterfully combines the sardonic wit of Chandler with the gritty violence of Lehane's Kenzie and Gennaro series. Bringing Chicago to life so skillfully that the reader can almost hear the El train in the distance, Harvey is poised to take the crime-writing world by storm. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 378 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (August 21, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000UZJTG6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,664 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The (fill in the blank) Way September 12, 2007
This is an entertaining, good book, but the buzz and reviews around it overstate the case a bit. I wouldn't call it great, or classic.

The plot is fairly formulaic, and not just in the sense that it follows the classic 'hard boiled' narrative structure. Readers of fiction in the genre will find that it holds few surprises(Raymond Chandler meets CSI meets David Mamet?). I found the characters to be derivative... for example the ex cop private eye who was wronged AND has a dark secret AND "boxed for money" AND reads the classics. (Marlowe meets Spenser meets Sam Spade meets Poirot?)

The "sense of place" that several reviewers have mentioned positively felt more gimmicky than novel. The setting and the story don't really seem interdependent. The book could have easily been called the Philadelphia Way, the Boston Way, the Brooklyn Way, etc, by changing a few pages of text. By contrast, novels like James Ellroy's "LA Quartet" really couldn't have been sent anywhere else.

I finished the book not really caring about the characters; and possessed of an intense desire to re-read some of the source material.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Chicago PI Michael Kelly is sitting in his office, attempting to compile a list of the ten greatest moments in Cubs history, when his ex-partner, John Gibbons, walks through the door. After exchanging pleasantries with Kelly, Gibbons gets down to business---he's come to hire Kelly to look into a case that's haunted the retired police officer for nearly a decade, the rape of a young woman that he maintains was covered up by his superiors. Intrigued by Gibbons' story, Kelly agrees to take the case.

Hours later, Gibbons is found dead by the Navy Pier, shot twice in the stomach. Now a person of interest in the Gibbons homicide, Kelly has added incentive to solve the case the dead man hired him to investigate. Kelly throws himself into the investigation, but answers are elusive--to bring Gibbons' killer to justice, Kelly must dig deep into the mystery surrounding the assault of a young girl named Elaine Remington, a cold case neither the killer nor the police are interested in reopening.

How much you ultimately enjoy The Chicago Way will depend on your expectations going in. If you're looking for something new and original, this may not be your book. If you're looking for a prime example of a hard boiled crime novel, by all means pick this up--Harvey certainly knows his way around that turf, carefully exploring and exploiting all the traditions of that genre through well-crafted, vigorous prose. The PI is tough and intrepid and witty, the dames slinky and dangerous, and the bad guys are menacing--if you enjoy that sort of thing, then The Chicago Way is definitely right up your (back) alley.
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41 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Snappy Dialogue Doesn't Make a Great Novel September 25, 2007
THE CHICAGO WAY has been so heavily hyped that I was expecting a crime novel as good as Raymond Chandler's work or even early Robert Parker. But in my opinion, this doesn't even come close.

Michael Harvey's a stylish writer, and writes in a clean style that I normally admire in a crime author. However, this book focuses on snappy dialogue at the expense of everything else. The plot is formulaic, and meanders around quite a bit before rushing toward a rather implausible conclusion. Many of the characters lack depth, and I didn't end up caring for anybody in this novel very much.

In short, THE CHICAGO WAY consists of a lot of sizzle, but not very much steak. The prose is punchy and fun, but that's not a substitute for strong storytelling. This novel never engaged me in the end, so I can't recommend it. Still, I think Harvey has enough talent that I would be willing to give his next book a try.

If you're looking for a good PI mystery, I would suggest two other recent titles: LITTLE GIRL LOST by Richard Aleas and BIG CITY, BAD BLOOD by Sean Chercover. Both these novels are very well written, but have much stronger plots and characters.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Generic Debut Neo-Hard Boiled Thriller January 22, 2009
If you're looking for a reasonably entertaining and utterly disposable modern crime novel, this should suffice. As the debut novel from the co-creator of the TV show "Cold Case Files," it should come as no surprise that the Chicago-set story is sparked by the reinvestigation of a buried old crime, and that advances in forensic science play a large role in the plot. The tone is neo-hard boiled, with the author striving for the stylish patter of Raymond Chandler, and generally sounding forced. What might work in the mouth of Bogart generally sounds contrived in the mouth of Michael Kelly, the book's Irish-American ex-cop protagonist.

Kelly is a pretty blah hero, a cardboard collage of hundreds of other fictional private-eyes: Ex-cop? Check. Best detective on the force? Check. Railroaded out of the force? Check. A manly man? Check. Grew up tough? Check. Irish-American or Italian-American? Check. Knows how to box? Check. No apparent good friends? Check. Attractive ladies all over him? Check. Random cultural quick? Check (he likes to read ancient Greek). And so on. There's nothing to really distinguish him from hundreds of his fictional fellow detectives, and nothing about him is likely to linger in the reader's head once the final page is turned. (Except maybe that he drinks tea.)

The story kicks off with a surprise visit from Kelly's old partner (also retired from the force), who is looking into an old unsolved case of his. Only the rape and stabbing isn't just unsolved, it's been erased, and the victim has come back years later wanting to know why. This is a reasonably interesting premise with one major flaw -- the perp has to either be someone relatively powerful, or connected to someone with the access and juice to sweep a major crime completely under the rug.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good!
I really like 'hard boiled' detective novels and this one did not disappoint. Classic noir!
Published 4 days ago by richard wagner
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't like this book very much and I'm not sure what ...
I didn't like this book very much and I'm not sure what all the hype is all about. Author tries for a writing style of Raymond Chandler, the hard-boiled detective talking in... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Sarah R
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern-day Greek tragedy complete with the Furies
Private investigator Michael Kelley lives his life guided by the ideas of the ancient Greeks, whose works he reads in the original Greek. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Patto
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
fast-paced with a twist or three thrown in.
Published 2 months ago by Butch44
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner
Can't wait to read more by Michael Harvey. Story held me to last page and a surprising ending.
Loved it
Published 2 months ago by LibraryLil
4.0 out of 5 stars Generic but fun Hard Boiled
Fun hard boiled PI story, somewhat generic in that the main character is a combination of every PI cliche ever all rolled up into one package (but still remains surprisingly... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Badman
1.0 out of 5 stars Predictable Storyline
Nothing original here. Pretty much follows a predictable hard boiled detective story.
Published 3 months ago by Deej
5.0 out of 5 stars Chicago is my hometown and I was delighted that he captured both the...
This is the first book I have read by Harvey. Chicago is my hometown and I was delighted that he captured both the dry humour and incipient gravitas of the city. Read more
Published 8 months ago by rev2000
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good.
Published 8 months ago by Pamela Weinman
3.0 out of 5 stars hard to get into
Good story, it was kinda silly at times, but overall a good book. First I have read of this author
Published 9 months ago by Charlie Phillips
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More About the Author

Michael Harvey is the author of two crime novels, The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor. His third book, The Third Rail, will be published by Knopf (USA) and Bloomsbury (UK) in April 2010. Michael is also a journalist and documentary producer. His work has won numerous national and international awards, including multiple CableACE and Emmy awards, as well as an Academy Award nomination. He is also the co-creator, producer and executive producer of Cold Case Files on the A&E television network. For more information, check out Michael's web site at or his Fan Page on Facebook.

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