Saturday, January 19, 2008

Big City, Bad Blood -- Sean Chercover

This book has been praised by just about everybody, so naturally I'm going to have a slightly contrary opinion. My problem is the usual one: the book is too long, and of its nearly 300 pages, I would have cut about 75 if I'd been the editor. Which I wasn't, and since nobody else seems to have minded, it's obviously a problem specific to me.

Aside from that, there were plenty of things to like about the book. Ray Dudgeon (okay, maybe the last name is a little problematic, too) is a tough p.i. who agrees to be a bodyguard to a Hollywood location scout who's in Chicago on a job and who's gotten mixed up with the Outfit through no fault of his own. Pretty soon people start dying, and Dudgeon finds himself involved in a mob war. The Chicago cops don't like him much, and neither do the Feds, but he has to do business with everyone if he wants to stay alive. Which he barely does [SPOILER ALERT] because he gets seriously and graphically tortured [END SPOILER ALERT]. Dudgeon has problems with his love life and with life in general, so there's a lot of angst.

I'd call this book more of a thriller than a mystery. In fact, there's no mystery at all. Dudgeon's interest is in keeping himself and his client alive. He knows damned well who's trying to kill them. I recommend this one, with reservations. I'd like it better if it had been cut down some.

1 comment:

Juri said...

I didn't much writer about it on my blog, but I basically agree with you. Some of the stuff about the main guy's love life and such... but all in all, I though it was very good.