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Trigger City (Ray Dudgeon) Hardcover – October 14, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Ray Dudgeon Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Isaac Richmond, a retired army colonel, asks Chicago PI Ray Dudgeon to look into his daughter's murder, Dudgeon, who's still recovering from the injuries he sustained in Big City, Bad Blood, reluctantly agrees to take the $50,000 case in this engrossing follow-up. Joan Richmond's death looks straightforward: a deranged co-worker, Steven Zhang, shot her in her home and then committed suicide. Never one to accept the simplest answer, Dudgeon starts digging and discovers that Joan's former employer was Hawk River, a military contract company under congressional investigation. Steve's widow soon reveals her husband's ties to China, and Dudgeon realizes that Joan's murder could lead back to both the Department of Homeland Security and some ruthless military contractors. Himself a former PI, Chercover brings a crackling authenticity to Dudgeon, paying homage to the noir masters while creating a doggedly stubborn new hero all his own. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Critics agree that Sean Chercover's former career as a private investigator serves him well as a crime fiction writer. Compared by the Chicago Tribune's critic to the greats, Chercover writes well-rounded characters with believable flaws, and his timely, convincing exploration of the military-industrial complex extends this thriller beyond its traditional genre. Only the reviewer from the Washington Post wasn't too sure about this direction, opining that some readers might see this plot as "left-wing paranoia, while others will think it an all-too-accurate portrayal of how elements of our government operate." But well paced and highly entertaining, Trigger City offers "a serious political message embedded in ... stylish prose" (Washington Post). And there's more to come.
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC

Product Details

  • Series: Ray Dudgeon
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (October 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061128694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061128691
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,097,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sean Chercover is a former private detective turned novelist and screenwriter. A native of Toronto, he has held a motley assortment of jobs over the years, including video editor, scuba diver, nightclub magician, encyclopedia salesman, and truck driver. He is the author of two award-winning novels featuring Chicago private investigator Ray Dudgeon: Big City, Bad Blood and Trigger City. After living in Chicago; New Orleans; and Columbia, South Carolina, Sean has returned to Toronto where he lives with his wife and son. His fiction has won the Anthony, Shamus, CWA Dagger, Dilys, and Crimespree awards, and been shortlisted for the Edgar, Barry, Macavity, Arthur Ellis and ITW Thriller awards.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Have you ever finished a novel but found you can't start another book because the one you've just finished won't leave you alone? TRIGGER CITY is one of those books. The plot begins as a quite satisfying detective story, but Chercover skillfully layers in threads of topical events and twists the plot into a deliciously complex thriller. Ray Dudgeon is not the same Ray we knew in Chercover's first novel (BIG CITY, BAD BLOOD). This sadder but wiser Ray is still plagued by physical injuries sustained in the first novel. But even more troubling for him is the self-doubt generated by those events. It's rare for authors to explore such emotionally complex issues with their protagonist and bring them to the page so realistically. On one level, it's a standard PI novel--stakeouts, car chases, witness interviews, and so on. But Chercover adds a dimension of realism that leaves most of the genre in the dust. While reading it, I kept one ear tuned to the news, expecting to hear updates on the story. It's that real, that powerful. Only his second time at bat, but Chercover smashes this one into the stratosphere.
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Format: Hardcover
The only thing that disappointed me after reading Trigger City is that I hadn't yet read Big City, Bad Blood. It would've been nice to meet Ray Dudgeon at the start of the author's introduction of him. Still, from the opening pages of Trigger City, it was evident that Sean Chercover's is a voice steeped in the streets of Chicago and influenced by the pages of Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane and Elmore Leonard. Make no mistake though--it's an original voice that will stay with you long after you've finished the novel. I'm a slow reader and I FLEW this book. Hell, it even had me running late for work one morning!

Terrific dialogue, scathing and self-deprecating humor team up with action scenes that, blended together, vividly paint a richly layered drama. It's a big story with the nuances of real life thrown in. Chercover manages to give Ray Dudgeon a soul yet still arm him with a pair of brass balls. He's the kind of guy you want to go have a beer with because you know the company will be great and that he'll have your back in case trouble breaks. Now I look forward--can't wait really--to start on Big City, Bad Blood so I can spend a few days following Ray's exploits. It's the Christmas gift I plan on buying myself.
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Format: Hardcover
Sean Chercover's sophomore novel is even better than his awfully-darned-good debut! In this one the characters seemed to have more of an emotional investment in the goings-on...I guess I just felt more involved with them this time around (even though I thoroughly enjoyed "Big City, Bad Blood"). The plot is compelling and always surprising. I also like the author's taste in music. :) Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After a strong opening act with "Big City, Bad Blood", Sean Chercover and smart-talking Chicago PI Ray Dudgeon, still smarting from tortures delivered by the bad guys in "Big City", are back for another round of hard-knuckled sleuthing in "Trigger City". It hasn't taken Chercover long to jump on the over used military-industrial complex conspiracy bandwagon, spinning an appropriately complex tale of greed and corruption in the Windy City. Chercover's web of treachery is interesting enough, but a Chicagoan's shock and outrage over government malfeasance is rich irony and highly entertaining - if unintentionally so. Notwithstanding, Dudgeon's gig to find the truth behind a daughter's murder for a dubiously grieving father soon has our hero the target of multiple clandestine operatives, stretching a path from Lakeshore Drive to Tienanmen Square while busting more cover-ups than a righteous Bernstein/Woodward witch hunt. But the black cloaked thugs leave Dudgeon enough time to stalk and lust and pine for girlfriend Jill, currently tied up with a stand-in boyfriend whose hospital hours entail less risk than throwing guys over six story mall escalators.

As in the original, the author's snappy dialog is as smart as his portrait of Chicago's streets and neighborhoods and local haunts - a virtual travelogue of the great city's gritty ethnic charm. "Trigger's" pace, however, is a bit uneven, bogging down in too much intrigue and seemingly endless threats, while enduring even the sacrilege of a smashed vintage Ernie Banks bobble head. If so don't think to hard an over-analyze the plot incongruities, you'll find this more an enjoyable read - well-written escapist crime fiction which promises more than it delivers - at least this time out.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Last year I found a new author named Sean Chercover, who writes a series of books featuring Chicago PI Ray Dudgeon. I really enjoyed his first book, Big City, Bad Blood, and although it's taken me a while to get around to his second book, Trigger City, I'm happy to say it's just as good, if not better.

Joan Richmond was the head of payroll for a Chicago company. One Sunday afternoon she was shot and killed by a former employee, Steven Zhang, who left a confession before killing himself. All of those around him noticed Zhang's erratic behavior changes in the few months leading up to Richmond's murder, but no one expected him to react in this way. While this seems like an open and shut case, Dudgeon is hired by Joan's father, a retired military commander with whom she had a somewhat strained relationship, to find out "the truth." But the truth isn't quite what it seems, as it appears Joan's previous employer was a military contractor with secrets to hide--and lots of people interested in keeping them hidden, no matter what. And as Dudgeon continues his investigation while dealing with his own personal issues, he realizes no one quite knows what the truth really is, and maybe that's a good thing.

Chercover's second book moves quickly, has a terrific plot and lots of twists, some of which I didn't see coming. Dudgeon's character is really complex; he's more than just a stubborn private investigator--he has enough personal demons to keep several psychiatrists busy. But he is determined to protect those in need of help, no matter what the cost may be to himself. That complexity, plus some great action, makes for a really fast and compelling read. Plus, the book makes you think about how our government's reach keeps expanding. I hope Chercover plans to keep writing--I want to know what's next for Ray Dudgeon, and you will, too.
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