Sunday, September 27, 2009
" The Fifth Floor", by Michael Harvey
This is the second novel featuring the wise-cracking Private Investigator Michael Kelly who returns in full force. The heart of the story is based around the mayor's office on the fifth floor of Chicago City Hall.
It starts when Michael is contacted by Janet, an ex-girlfriend and is asked to use his P.I. expertise to protect her from her abusive husband, Johnny Woods who happens to be one of the mayor's fixers. While on his trail he discovers a link to a recent murder. During his research he stumbles across a credible theory of the Chicago fire with a connection between the mayor's family and a land grab that set up a political dynasty. Of course revealing this would be scandalous, especially in an election year. The historical angle along with several plot twists made for a very interesting story.
Michael a man of action and very meticulous at his profession soon finds himself in the middle of political corruption and targeted by powerful men. He is framed for murder and embroiled in scams he had nothing to do with, plunged into an unfamiliar world where nothing is quite what it seems.
I share my thoughts with those saying this is a sizzling follow-up to "The Chicago Way". It is suspenseful and atmospheric, has intricate woven narrative and snappy dialogue and the characters are loveable and gritty. Mr Harvey has written an entertaining thriller with an historical twist. . This is a real page-turner that masterfully delves into the myth behind Mrs O'Leary's cow, the suspected cause of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Michael is one hero worth rooting for in this fast paced drama.