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

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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

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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,683,629 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

A fast paced book, great characters and interesting plot .
I read this book immediately after finishing the first one and once again was greatly rewarded with a great story.
Roberto Pang
It raises the question of who are the bad guys and who are the good (and who is really running the show).
Ted Feit

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Ron Edison on October 14, 2008
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Borri on December 17, 2008
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Benson on December 23, 2008
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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths VINE VOICE on January 15, 2009
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl A. Reynolds VINE VOICE on February 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
#2 Ray Dudgeon mystery set in the Windy City of Chicago. In the first book, Ray takes on the mob and in this one, he seems to be tackling the US Government and their covert military operations. Battered, bruised and barely holding things together (physically and psychologically) after his torture and near death some months previously, Ray is hired by a retired military man whose daughter was brutally murdered--shot to death by one of her employees who then turned the gun on himself.

Her killer had apparently been suddenly psychotic and paranoid and believed Joan was `out to get him' and thus he ended both their lives. Of course nothing is ever that simple--the fact that Joan was set to testify for a Congressional hearing on defense contract spending had *nothing* to do with her death, I'm sure, right!?--and the fact that that information was kept hushed up is even more telling. Ray ends up in a tangled web of deceit, trying to sort out the good guys from the bad while trying to keep himself alive and mend his broken relationship with ex-girlfriend Jill, and also trying to protect Steven Zhang's widow and daughter--he being the man who killed Joan and then himself.

I like Ray, despite his foibles, and the author's writing style make the reading of his story easy and appealing. Ray lives in a world of realism where things are never perfect and exist in multiple shades of gray, not ever simplistically black and white or right and wrong--much like real life, I suppose. I hope he lives a long and prolific life and I will be eagerly awaiting the next in series to see which major player he goes up against next.
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