Michael Harvey’s sequel to THE THIRD RAIL is WE ALL FALL DOWN, in which PI Michael Kelly wears out a great deal of shoe leather trying to save the citizens of Chicago. An unidentified perpetrator may have released a biological weapon in the city’s subway system. When people begin to sicken and die, a highly trained team of brilliant scientists is called in to identify the substance (is it a strain of anthrax?) and try to find a way to contain it. Kelly is a student of Thucydides, who wrote eloquently about the Plague of Athens in his classic work, “History of the Peloponnesian War.” Kelly wonders whether, twenty-four hundred years later, a modern, man-made plague will decimate Chicago.
The titular novices of Marcus Sakeyâ€™s recent novel, THE AMATEURS, are four friends, three men and one woman, who band together against the frigidity of Chicagoâ€™s winters and the loneliness of urban life to form the Thursday Night Drinking Club. But amateur drinkers these four are not â€“ experts in the art of throwing back martinis, the first thing any of these four do in a time of crisis is reach for a bottle of vodka. If only the same could be said for their foray into the criminal underworld.
Clare O’Donohue knows what she is talking about in MISSING PERSONS, a satirical and amusing novel about a Chicago-based freelance television producer who specializes in true crime stories. Since O’Donohue has been a producer, she understands “the frustration, annoyance, and craziness” that go with the territory.
Ward Just is a writerâ€™s writer, as straightforward and gritty and no-nonsense as Chicagoâ€”the city from which he hails. His solid 17th novel carries a seemingly enigmatic title â€“ Rodinâ€™s Debutante â€“ a curiosity, considering the book has nothing to do with Rodin or debutantes.
But wait â€“ as in much of Ward Justâ€™s work, there is complexity and hidden meaning behind the seeming simplicity.
It amazes me that THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY is Heidi W. Durrowâ€™s debut novel. It is poetic, poignant, beautiful and elegiac with the panache of a seasoned writer. Once I started it, I could not stop thinking about it. It haunted my days until I finished it. Durrow has a talent that is rare and brilliant, like the northern lights.
February 11, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· Comments Closed
Tags: 1980s, Alcoholic, Algonquin Books, Chicago, Identity, Portland Â· Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Bellwether, Class - Race - Gender, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Family Matters, US Midwest, US Northwest, y Award Winning Author
Back in 1987, Scott Turow’s PRESUMED INNOCENT created a sensation. It had all of the elements that fans of legal thrillers adore: murder, adultery, courtroom pyrotechnics, and a final twist that knocked everyone’s socks off. In INNOCENT, the highly anticipated sequel, it is 2007. Rusty Sabich is now sixty years old and has risen to become Chief Judge of the Third District Appellate Court in Kindle County. He is hoping to run for the State Supreme Court in the near future. Unfortunately, his personal life has been far less successful than his career.