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Homicide 69 Hardcover – November 22, 2006
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From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in 1969, Reaves's new crime novel opens impressively, as world-weary Chicago detective Mike Dooley seeks the man responsible for the savage, sadistic murder of Sally Kotowski, a mobster's ex-girlfriend. Despite a quick official wrapup of the investigation, Dooley remains skeptical that the guilty party has been punished, and he defies warnings from both sides of the law by continuing to turn over stones in pursuit of the real killer. Distracted by his worries over his eldest son, who's stationed in Vietnam, Dooley recklessly risks his family life by a prolonged flirtation with an attractive friend of the dead woman. That subplot and the author's penchant for starting each chapter with a litany of headline events of the day detract from the gritty beginning, while the disappointing resolution has more to do with the motive for Kotowski's being silenced than her actual killer. Reaves (Fear Will Do It) is also the author of Lying Crying Dying under the pseudonym Dominic Martell. (Jan.)
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Top customer reviews
Reaves gives us a stubbornly flawed hero. Few other writers in this genre dare to deal with character growth, the very definition of what a novel should show us. Good drama does this too, but the author here dares to exercise his skills as a story teller as Dooley stumbles his way to a stunning ending. Please don't expect a hero like Child's Jack Reacher who is certainly well-drawn, but hardly flawed and never grows or changes. I loved Child's series until I read "69." Now I'm hooked on Reaves, and you will be as well.
The book is set in the summer of 1969. Richard Nixon is in the White House; war is raging in Vietnam; Neal Armstrong is walking on the moon; the Manson family is on its murderous rampage, and American society is in the process of being torn apart.
Against that backdrop, Mike Dooley, a solid, decent homicide detective, is doing what he can to redress the injustices committed by his fellow Chicago residents against each other. He's also trying, with marginal success, to navigate the treacherous waters of his own personal life. And a veteran of World War II, Dooley worries day and night about the safety of his son Kevin, a Marine who has been deployed to Vietnam.
Late one night, Dooley and his partner are called to the scene of an especially horrific homicide. A young woman, Sally Kotowski, has been brutally tortured and murdered. Kotowski was a former Playboy Bunny who hung out with mobsters, and Dooley quickly concludes that her death was mob-related.
A solution to the murder appears almost magically, and Dooley's bosses are happy to sign off on the case and declare it closed. Dooley is not. He believes that the solution is too neat and tidy and that the real killers are still at large. Through a long and difficult summer, he pursues the case relentlessly, often on his own time and at the risk of destroying his own career. And his journey takes him deep into the dark side of Chicago life in the late 1960s.
Homicide 69 is much more than a conventional crime novel. The reader knows fairly early on who the guilty parties are and so this is not a "mystery" novel in the traditional sense. It is, at heart, the story of one lone man, struggling against seemingly impossible odds, to do the right thing and to achieve one very small measure of justice in a world gone mad.
It's a story brilliantly told. Reaves has captured perfectly the tenor of the time in which the story is set and he has created an absolutely riveting protagonist in Mike Dooley. Even at nearly 600 pages, the story is way too short, and one closes the book wishing that you could follow Dooley's career indefinitely.
After being hard to find for some time, Homicide 69 is now available in a new e-book edition. It's hard to imagine any fan of crime fiction who would not enjoy it.