Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Chicago Way (Michael Kelly) by Michael Harvey

This novel starts out like so many PI novels do. Michael Kelly is hired by his former partner to look into a cold case, a rape. Kelly’s got all the popular cliché attributes of a PI: the bottle in the drawer, the tragic past, he’s an ex-cop and used to be a boxer. He is intellectual enough to read Greek classics and has a best female friend who’s a forensic expert (like Leo Waterman, H.D. Denton and even Noah Milano have). So I was expecting a good ride but nothing special. I was wrong.
The prose is just fantastic. It’s witty, dry and stripped down to it’s basics, making it an easy but very enjoyable read.
The story has a lot of twists and turns and writer Michael Harvey uses his knowledge gained from working on the TV-show Cold Case Files to great effect, successfully marrying the PI genre with that of the forensic thriller. This marriage might be the way to go to keep the genre fresh and popular with a larger audience.

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