18 September 2011

The Chicago Way by Michael Harvey

The Chiago Way
4 Stars-

This was a happy accident sort of purchase. I bought it in a major book sale for a few dollars and figured why not. What a wonderful "why not"!

Michael Kelly is a private investigator in Chicago. His old partner shows up one day with a cold case for him, the next he finds himself dead. Kelly isn't simply investigating a murder, he's thrown into a case that had its origin twenty years ago and the bodies just keep dropping. Kelly now has to question everything. Is someone a friend, lover, enemy? All three?

The novel has a great feel to it, like reading something from Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler. The "hard boiled" detective had its hey-day in the 1930's and 1940's and it is a delight to have a modern equivalent. I'm a fan of the masters and have the entire "Philip Marlowe" series (that's by Chandler, so you know). Michael Kelly has the same sort of attitude and tone as Marlowe. This is the mystery novel I have been waiting for! Now I have to go and find book two in the series. I'd grumble, really I would, but I enjoyed the story and lead character far too much. 

Someplace To Be Flying by Charles DeLint

Someplace To Be Flying
5 Stars-

All right, so I'm partial, but who can blame me? I love DeLint's work and must say that his mixture of urban fantasy and traditional folklore has burrowed its way into my heart with no intent of leaving anytime soon.

In this story, we don't really see any of the usual characters. They are mentioned, but never introduced. Instead there is a focus on a lesser known pair of characters, Lilly and Hank. When she goes in search of the animal people from Jack's stories, Lilly finds more then she bargained for. One of these people try to kill her, but Hank turns up just in time to lend a hand with some serious help from the Crow Girls. This first encounter with a world neither of them understand bring downtown Hank and uptown Lilly together, in ways that neither of them would have ever expected.

I think the great take away from this novel is family. Sometimes we make mistakes with our kin and we have to atone for them, sometimes our family resembles a pack of wolves out for blood and there is no atonement. Sometimes when we introduce a member of the family we add that they are the ones we chose, not the ones we born into. Hank had a rough life, his family is odd and a little damaged, but good.

I could  not put this story down, I am always ready to dive headlong into a DeLint novel and only coming up for coffee. 
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