- ISBN-10: 0385534701
- ISBN-13: 978-0385534703
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
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Top Customer Reviews
Still shaking my head.
This is a complex, gritty, somewhat confusing, twisted type of police procedural. I have read CALUMET CITY and his writing remains excellent but this story, I thought, was much harder to follow.
The entire story takes place over 6 days and chronicles sick childhood tragedies that are connected in the end. The main characters in the book are two brothers, Rubin and Bobby who are both police officers and twin sisters Arleen and Colleen, (who was brutally raped and murdered at 13 years old). Tie in the darkness of the south side of Chicago, the bid for the Chicago Olympics, many different and deadly gangs, some really mad and bad Korean's, crooked cops, a large Japanese conglomerate and an adult orphan kicked out of a seminary, and this will give you a summary of why I thought it was so confusing and convoluted.
I thought the author just went overboard trying to tell so many different stories and then have them connect in the end. He could have just simplified it and the story would have been so much better.
I did love the dialog with Bobby and his brother, and with Arleen and Bobby. I also liked how the author moves into a Cain and Abel transformation with the brothers as the book progresses. I thought the last half of the book was much better then the first half as you finally get some idea of what the heck is going on.
I really liked the ending, but it took too long to finally get there.
This book will NOT appeal to anyone who is turned off by extreme violence and incest. This book will appeal to you if you like your police procedural's dark and constantly moving. Again, he writes extremely well, I just didn't care for this particular story.
Coleen Brennan was an Irish girl who befriended Bobby Vargas, who was Spanish. By the sixth grade, they had become boyfriend and girlfriend. His worst day was when Coleen was murdered when she was age thirteen. Coleen was white and Bobby wasn't. Their friendship was a dangerous thing in the race rules of Four Corners.
One day, the "Chicago Herald," a newspaper in need of a big story, runs an expose, implying that it would prove that Bobby and Ruben killed Coleen.
The story has an interesting literary style with chapters beginning with portions of the newspaper expose and then moving to the actions of the current day. Coleen's murder is said to be a reprisal for racist policing but there is also a question if she was raped and left to die as part of a gang initiation.
Anton Dupree was arrested, tried and convicted of the murder. He was later executed and his family is suing the city claiming that Anton was of low intellignece and manipulated into confessing.
With the existing political climate, Bobby fears that the city will settle the suit and that he and his brother will be fired and face civil action.
There are a number of levels in the story which is told in a darkly realistically manner. There was a past history of wrong doing by Japan during WWII. Currently, representatives of the company active in the wrong doing are influential in financing the Olympics. In addition, Coleen's twin sister Arleen, returns and becomes romantically involved with Bobby.Read more ›
This is a mind-blowing book. If you love a good story and you're not afraid to think and feel for yourself, welcome to "Start Shooting." You'll be glad you came.
Yeah, the book's not perfect. It gets where it's going on the backs of some coincidences the author doesn't go back and explain well, and a tendency to push the action to 11 in every chapter gets a bit numbing here and there. But it reminds me of some of those dog-eared plots Ed McBain, a.k.a. the late Evan Hunter, used to drive his amazing novels, with weaknesses that didn't matter because the action was so good. After a while of Charlie Newton flipping cards on you like an ace street hustler out to entertain rather than cheat you, you recognize the intensity of his commitment and just ride with it.
The title is the first unusual thing about the novel, though apt enough as you discover. Written for the most part in the present tense, the narrative slips deftly back and forth between two characters. One, a cop named Bobby Vargas from a tough Chicago neighborhood named Four Corners, just wants to do the right thing and live up to the example of his cool older brother Ruben, a detective. The other is Arleen Brennan, a struggling actress who grew up in the same neighborhood in the shadow of a murdered twin sister. A lifetime separates them, but now a twisted plot involving blackmail and murder on a mass scale brings them together to fight demons they didn't know they had, some from the past and others all too much in the present.
What makes "Start Shooting" work so well is how cleverly Newton works his alternating points-of-view. Because you are seeing a case develop from two different perspectives, you can see it coming together before they do.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The angst spilled from the first page, the machinations of children, some grown, some not. Deep understanding of modern police reality and South east Asia's history.Published 1 month ago by Marc
Both in style and content, Charlie Newton's novels read like unintentional parodies of Raymond Chandler. Read morePublished 9 months ago by r g stone
I buy books and put them on bookshelves to read when I have or make time. I have not read this one yet but will comment more in the near future.Published on March 21, 2014 by S. Clark
A dark noir novel of lost loves, teeth-grinding corruption, murder, mayhem and unlikely redemption. The novel is gritty, full of in-your-face realism on the streets of Chicago. Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by carl brookins
Give me an author with guts. Not just the ambition to confect a gritty setting, or snappy dialogue, or tons of action -- the bookstores are full of those novels -- but the... Read morePublished on May 5, 2013 by chuckg
If you like light easy novel reading this is not for you. I liked this book but it was a little convoluted and stretched although the author does an admirable job of pulling it... Read morePublished on April 15, 2013 by Book Fanatic
If you dig Richard Price, Thomas Harris, Dennis Lehane AND/OR The Wire, this brilliant crime saga will satisfy your felonious literary taste buds. Read morePublished on January 17, 2013 by bigJbookdealer
With Charlie Newton's Calumet City the bar was placed into the stratosphere in the category of the crime novel. Unbelievably, Newton has surpassed himself with Start Shooting. Read morePublished on January 14, 2013 by RaCat
Four main characters populate this dark, gritty tale: Bobby Vargas, an idealistic cop in the Gang Unit; his brother, Ruben, a hopelessly corrupt amoral homicide cop; Arlene... Read morePublished on November 24, 2012 by James L. Thane