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A Bad Night's Sleep: A Mystery (Joe Kozmarski Series) Hardcover – June 21, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Jacksonville author Michael Wiley mixes two mainstays of the hard boiled novel — the cynical hero and a gritty plot — with an invigorating plot in his latest novel....A Bad Night’s Sleep briskly moves through diverse Chicago neighborhoods that are far from the familiar Michigan Avenue."--Oline H. Cogdill, Sun Sentinel

“Fans of gritty PI novels will relish Shamus-finalist Wiley's third mystery featuring Chicago detective Joe Kozmarski. Kozmarski, a well-developed flawed hero, would be right at home in a Chandler or Hammett novel. The relentless pacing makes the pages fly by, and the hard-edged prose is bracing.”— Publishers Weekly (starred revew)

"Fast, furious and fun. Readers who like them hard-boiled will love this 22-minute egg.”— Kirkus Reviews

“In Michael Wiley’s dark-souled detective, his cynical cops, his convincing story, we get a gripping classic PI novel, with this enormous bonus: this guy can WRITE. Clean, sharp, breathtaking prose.”—S.J. Rozan, Edgar Award-winning author of On the Line
"A Bad Night's Sleep is a terrific read that will indeed cost readers some sleep. Michael Wiley pulls you into the action on page one and doesn't let up until the last satisfying chapter."--Alafair Burke, author of Long Gone
“This is top-notch P.I. reading. Wiley knows how to keep the fires stoked.”—New York Times bestselling author John Lutz
“A slick and suspenseful tale of corruption and redemption from a terrific PI writer at the top of his game. A Bad Night’s Sleep is a great night’s read.”--Kelli Stanley, author of City of Dragons

Calling a thriller subtle seems an odd way to praise it, but hold on. Wiley constructs his tale atop one of the familiar foundations of the classic hard-boiled PI novel: the hero's history of both staggering failure--he lost his cop job by driving drunk into a newsstand--and hopelessness with the ladies. He speaks of one woman as "smarter and quicker" than he is, and that says it. The requisite gunfights and chases are here, too. But there's an underlying meditation, there if the reader wants it, on identity and the need for endless curiosity about it. Chicago PI Joe Kozmarski announces the theme when he confesses that his failure to identify a treacherous informant got his partner shot. Then Joe nails a couple of bent cops, killing one of them but learning he's made an awful--though maybe unavoidable--mistake. To put things right, he infiltrates the ring of bad apples, moving into a world where shifting identities blur like blades of a fan. He triumphs but not before the wrong people die. (Booklist)

Jacksonville author Michael Wiley mixes two mainstays of the hard boiled novel -- the cynical hero and a gritty plot -- with an invigorating plot in his latest novel. In Wiley's hands, the ex-alcoholic, former cop-turned-private detective seems like a fresh idea. That's because Wiley refuses to allow any predictable plot twists to mar A Bad Night's Sleep and makes sure his Chicago investigator Joe Kozmarski barely has time to take a deep breath. Joe is hired to do the late-night surveillance at a luxury condo development that has been overrun by thieves making off with tools, appliances and construction materials. But these thieves aren't what Joe expected. While he watches, the burglary crew arrives -- in a police cruiser. Two of the thieves are even in uniform. During a chaotic shootout, Joe kills a cop who is part of the burglar's team. Although the man he killed was moonlighting as a thief, Joe is still branded a cop killer, and the police are more than willing to blame him for the sh (Oline H. Cogdill The Miami Herald)

About the Author

Michael Wiley is the Shamus Award-winning author of the Joe Kozmarski mysteries -- THE LAST STRIP TEASE, THE BAD KITTY LOUNGE, and A BAD NIGHT'S SLEEP -- and the Daniel Turner thriller BLUE AVENUE.

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Product Details

  • Series: Joe Kozmarski Series (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312552246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312552244
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,122,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
PI Joe Kozmarski, ex-Chicago PD, is caught in a lose-lose situation when he accepts a security assignment on a construction site. The developer has been suffering a series of on-site thefts on various Chicago projects. While Joe watches, the arrival of a police cruiser is no big deal until the officer is joined by a couple of vans and the intruders load up the construction supplies Joe is guarding. A call for assistance initiates a wild shootout between good cops and their outlaw brothers in blue, bullets flying. Kozmarski makes a fateful decision, an irreversible moment that puts him in the center of a PR nightmare, a messy crime with serious repercussions. Wiley's protagonist is in a classic dilemma from the first page, a man in the middle whose only real choice is to outwit, outplay and outlast those who view the former cop as a solution to systemic corruption that cannot be exposed to public scrutiny.

His reputation in tatters since his infamous days on the force, Joe carries the stigma of his part in the shootout. Isolated in a cell, he is offered a proposition that can clear him of any wrongdoing, save the department the embarrassment of exposure and keep the FBI at bay, but carries considerable risk, Kozmarski in the role of double agent. The result is a tense cat-and-mouse game of criminal enterprise and backroom deals, Wiley's flawed hero able to count on no one but himself and the instincts honed from years on the job. By the time the FBI piles on, Kozmarski is out of options. Morally compromised, Joe fights his self-destructive demons and attempts to extricate himself from his predicament. A flawed ex-cop with emotional ties to the department trying to repair a broken life, his survival is contingent on the good will of suspicious men. Only one step ahead of disaster, Kozmarski finds enemies all around him, friends in unexpected places and a newly-awakened conscience. Luan Gaines/2011.
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Format: Hardcover
In Chicago the Southshore Corporation Vice President Jen Horlache hires detective Joe Kozmarski to stake out their construction site where thefts of materials and equipment has been costly in terms of time and money. Kozmarski notices a gang loading spools of copper wire when a police cruiser stops. Two cops in blue join the loading line.

Kozmarski calls 911 and police quickly arrive. A gunfight erupts and the private detective kills one of the thieves, who like his burglar companions, turns out to be a cop. CPD Lieutenant Bill Gubman enlists his former police officer who was kicked off the force to go undercover and join the gang. However, Kozmarski soon finds the thieves and the honest cops distrust him, but not all of them want him dead; only some do.

The latest Chicago private investigative Kozmarski Noir (see The Last Striptease and The Bad Kitty Lounge) is a terrific gritty thriller that grips the audience with the opening shootout and never takes a respite as the beleaguered hero struggles to survive on the mean streets. Kozmarski trusts no one as cops and robbers have placed the Scarlet Letter of D for dead on his head. Readers will have A Bad Night's Sleep as this exciting tale is difficult to put down.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
This was my first Michael Wiley book. I liked it. The premise is good: dirty cops in Chicago using their jobs to steal from construction sites and to blackmail gang members and leaders.

The Chicago setting is well-realized and wow, does this book read quickly. The pages fly by, and it's hard to put it down. I could probably have read the book in one sitting if I'd had the time.

The storytelling makes up for a few points that I found lacking. The characters really don't have much character at all; the supporting cast feels like it's coughed up from Casting 101: two attractive women for the protagonist to kiss, a nondescript kid who lives with the narrator, the detective's overbearing/loving mother. The bad guys are all pretty similar, too - can't say I ever developed a sense in my head of what each one looked like. The writing is really very basic: simple sentences without flourish, though there's a good line or two.

Because I found the book so fast-paced, I was also able to overlook a problem that I don't think I've encountered recently: The book is just unbelievable, from start to finish. In a nutshell, every character is just too nice, even the bad guys. With everyone chatting so amiably all the time, a sense of menace never really builds. So, overall, I find myself in a strange position while writing about this book: I can pick it apart on a lot of levels (and noticed all of this stuff while I was reading it, too), but somehow I still liked the book. Go figure.
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Format: Hardcover
Ex-cop Joe Kozmarski is a security guard at Chicago's Southshore Corporation. One night, he witnesses two police officers stealing from the construction site. After dialing 911, more police officers arrive and a bloody shootout erupts. Joe is forced to kill one of the bad cops, David Russo. Consequently, he is branded a cop killer and he loses his job, his gun and his detective's license. He also receives death threats. Eventually, his best friend, Detective Bill Gubman, convinces him to infiltrate a ring of crooked cops. Soon, Joe finds himself surrounded by rogue cops, gangbangers, FBI agents and high-price prostitutes. Joe must battle his own demons of alcohol and cocaine as he plunges deeper into a world of betrayal and bloody violence.

From reading Michael Wiley's "A Bad Night's Sleep," I learned never to kill a cop, whether they are bad or good. In this novel, Joe Kozmarski oftentimes can't tell the difference. Neither can the reader. After killing the cop, Joe's life becomes a living nightmare in this fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller that I couldn't put down. (I read it in less than two days.) Kozmarski is surrounded on all sides by bad guys. He keeps sinking deeper and deeper into a hole from which there is no escape. To make matters even worse, the bad cops are threatening the lives of his mom and his eleven-year-old nephew Jason who once lived with him until he was arrested. "A Bad Night's Sleep" is a pumped-up crime drama with lots of car chases, gun shooting and beautiful women in peril. It's modern noir at its best.

As I read about Joe Kozmarski's life, as written from his point of view, I couldn't help but believe him to be a loser. He's an ex-cop, an ex-alcoholic, and an ex-drug addict who has an ex-wife, Corrine.
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