- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (January 9, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061128678
- ISBN-13: 978-0061128677
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 128 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,684,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Big City, Bad Blood: A Novel Hardcover – January 9, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Real-life Chicago PI Chercover, in his impressive hard-boiled debut, introduces Ray Dudgeon, a former Chicago reporter disillusioned with the newspaper business who has turned private detective. When Bob Loniski, a locations manager for Hollywood films, hires Dudgeon for protection after running afoul of a mid-level gangster, Dudgeon finds himself in the middle of an organized crime war. A number of forces hamper Dudgeon's efforts to keep his client alive, even as his probing reveals that Loniski may have witnessed a prominent local politician keeping unsavory company and that the violence may be connected to a broader conspiracy. Like many a classic PI, Dudgeon behaves according to his own subjective code. The author's considerable storytelling and characterization gifts compare favorably with those of Loren D. Estleman and other established masters of the crime genre. (Jan.)
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About the Author
Formerly a private investigator in Chicago and New Orleans, Sean Chercover has since written for film, television, and print. His first novel, Big City, Bad Blood, won and was nominated for numerous awards. He lives in Chicago and Toronto, and the commute is killing him.
Top customer reviews
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and a "New" generation gangster.
I try never to reveal plots when I review a book, less is more in my world, but I hope by telling what types of books I enjoy, that I will help someone else to decide whether or not this might be a book to read and enjoy.
Dudgeon is also a character with flaws. He’s disillusioned with the newspaper business and he wants to be together with his girlfriend, Jill. That is also a problem since she doesn’t want to be involved with Ray because of his work.
The story moves along nicely as Dudgeon will be battling out with the mobster along with some of his cronies. At the very least, the action and suspense are high and the results are unpredictable, which makes the story even better to read, especially since I didn’t know what Ray was going to do next.
The subplot of his relationship with Jill builds the story up even more. I guess I found myself rooting for Ray to make the relationship work.
There are a lot of PI novels out there but I thought that what made this different is that the author is a real-life PI also which made the story work even better. The point of writing what you know really comes out in this story.
I would also say that this is the kind of story that I would read in some of my favorite pulp fiction writers where they are battling it out with mobsters and their hit men. Some of those authors include Mickey Spillane, Frank Kane, Henry Kane, and of course, Mike Roscoe, who wrote five books about his detective, Johnny April.
If you’re a fan of the pulp fiction era or would like to know what it’s like to read a book that in many ways relate to that era, then I would recommend this book. At .99, it’s worth more than five stars.
I look forward to reading more books by Sean Chercover.
I'm a fan of regional mysteries, so I was initially attracted to this book by its Chicago setting. However, this book is SO MUCH MORE than a regional mystery. Well-crafted, with excellent characters, rich with detail where it counts but without adding layers where they're not needed-- every word serves a purpose in this book, yet the prose flows easily, the plot never falters, and Ray Dudgeon stays true to his character throughout.
Highly recommended. I'm ordering the second in the series immediately.
Ray Dudgeon is a former journalist who left the newspaper world after realizing he couldn't really solve the problems of the world, and now he works as a private investigator. He is hired by a movie executive to protect a locations manager, who has run afoul of the Mafia (or in Chicago, "the Outfit") and faces a death threat because of his plan to testify in court. And as Dudgeon gets more involved, the killers set their sights on him as well. As he finds himself getting deeper and deeper into what seemed like a simple protection case, Dudgeon is also struggling with the pull of a romantic relationship and his own personal demons.
Chercover did a terrific job creating the characters in this book. Even those in "the Outfit" don't fall under your typical Mafioso stereotypes. And Dudgeon is more than just a thinking man's private investigator-- he's principled (although not too much so), stubborn and a little too idealistic for his own good. You may be able to see some of the twists coming, but that didn't impact my enjoyment of the book. I raced through the entire thing in about a day.