Books by Sam Reaves

Sam Reaves has lived in Chicago or its environs for most of his life. He has also lived and traveled widely in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. He has worked as a teacher and a translator. In addition to his Chicago-based crime novels he has pub

MOB COP by Fred Pascente
Released: June 1, 2015

"Not exactly a self-portrait of a criminal mastermind, but a somewhat worthwhile glimpse into the schizoid world of a corrupt cop."
A former crooked cop looks back on his conflict-of-interest life as a policeman and midlevel grifter. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"Reaves' prose falls somewhere between lean and flat and most of the characters are one-dimensional. But the chase has pull, and feisty, cocky, yet vulnerable McLain looks primed to be a series hero."
A wounded Iraq vet finds Chicago almost as treacherous as Baghdad in this latest from prolific noir author Reaves (Homicide 69, 2006, etc.). Read full book review >
HOMICIDE 69 by Sam Reaves
Released: Jan. 9, 2007

"A vivid cast, a flawed but compelling protagonist and, for good measure, a wry and poignant love story. Reaves (Dooley's Back, 2002, etc.) has accomplished something remarkable here: a doorstop-sized crime novel that doesn't feel a single page too long."
1969 finds a Chicago cop surrounded by enemies, only some of whom are hoods. Read full book review >
DOOLEY’S BACK by Sam Reaves
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Canny noirist Reaves (Get What's Coming, 1995, etc.) keeps the action lean and mean until that far-fetched, impossibly elaborate sting turns it soft and fuzzy at the end. "
Frank Dooley was a Chicago cop, a good one on the fast track, until he committed murder. Not that many of his colleagues blamed him for it. Dooley's adored wife Consuelo had been raped, brutalized, and slaughtered, and the confessed killer had walked on one of those technicalities that make justice a mockery and vigilantism hard to resist. Dooley had stalked, trapped, and shot the perp, simultaneously ending a vicious life and a brilliant career. Though there was no evidence against him and no serious search for any, Dooley resigned from the force he loved and exiled himself to Mexico for eight meaningless years. But now, driven by homesickness, he's back, and almost immediately on the hunt again for the murderer of Roy Ferguson, once Dooley's partner and closest friend. Tricked by a clever, mob-connected hoodlum, he's been gunned down, a homicide apparently as far beyond the reach of conventional law enforcement as Consuelo's. Once again, Dooley feels compelled to take matters into his own hands. Bound by promises to himself and others not to pull the trigger personally, he carefully puts together a sting he hopes will hoist Ray's murderer by his own petard. But it's a dangerous game he's playing, and if he loses, Dooley knows that this time there's no coming back. Read full book review >
Released: April 19, 1995

Chicago cabbie/avenger Cooper MacLeish (Bury It Deep, 1993, etc.) is married now, and driving for just one client, real- estate tycoon Regis Swanson. Except for the errands that Cooper sometimes runs between Swanson and the union bullyboys, it's a quiet life—until an enterprising second-tier capitalist named Sean McTeague hijacks a million dollars in drug money and decides to throw the ponytailed enforcers off his track by feeding them, via an anonymous tip to the local DEA, the name of Swanson's son Nate, a struggling rock-club manager with no visible means of support. The feds go after Nate, of course, but all they find are the body parts that Turk and Ferocious Dick have left behind. And the race is on—as Cooper pulls every string in Chicago to identify McTeague while Turk and Dick plod along, weapons at the ready, trying to identify him so they can kidnap his bride, take a bloody revenge for the wounds he's left them with, and reclaim the money Regis Swanson just doesn't have. Cooper's fourth adventure is as smooth and tough as all the others. The man's doing his bit to make the streets of Chicago a little safer—and a lot more interesting. Read full book review >
BURY IT DEEP by Sam Reaves
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

Should Chicago reporter Melvin Moreland pursue a tip from shady informant Vance Oyler about a story that'll ``sink some heavy cruisers''? Better not, says an anonymous caller directing Mel's attention to his dead cat. But Mel won't give up, even after Vance and his brother John go the way of the cat; reluctantly joined by his cabbie friend Cooper MacLeish (A Long Cold Fall, Fear Will Do It), he hooks up a tape cassette missing from John Oyler's to a crowded field of big shots—including powerbroker Regis Swanson, zoning lawyer King Van Houten, and mayoral candidate Wilson Throop. But when rival TV reporter Christine Pappadikas jumps on the story, the cops don't even want to talk to Mel, except to ask him why he and Coop discovered both bodies. Chicago politics at its dirtiest. With so many sleazeballs running around loose, you'll be positively relieved by the final bloody holocaust. Read full book review >
FEAR WILL DO IT by Sam Reaves
Released: March 30, 1992

Little does Chicago cabbie/shamus/adventurer Cooper MacLeish (A Long Cold Fall, 1991) know that his girlfriend Diana Froelich isn't sleeping with Tommy Thorne, the smooth-talking old friend who just blew back into her life; under Tommy's strong-arming, she's fronting his blackmail pitch to pornography czar Moss Wetzel, so desperate to cover up some crime he committed in Trinidad that he's willing to call on some very nasty hired help—his deadeyed bodyguard Wes Czop, ex-cop Frank Fudge, and muscle-brained Jimmy Poulos—who'll leave Tommy dead and then come running after Diana. What happens next—Cooper's doomed attempts to get Diana to turn herself in to the cops, Diana's increasingly narrow escapes from Wetzel's goons, their frantic search for the evidence Tommy had on Wetzel—won't surprise a soul, but it all hurtles on with satisfying conviction. Cooper manages to be both scared and tough. Strong escapist fare. Read full book review >
A LONG COLD FALL by Sam Reaves
Released: Jan. 10, 1990

Introducing Vietnam vet/cabdriver/jack-of-all-trades Cooper MacLeish, who comes home from the funeral of suicidal long-ago first love Vivian Horstmann determined to find her runaway son Dominic—and who then turns up more than he bargained for when the kid (who may be his own son) tells him his mother was murdered. The cops are unimpressed, and even Cooper isn't convinced until gunmen open fire on him and Dominic, then break into Cooper's house and torture him to find out where the boy's holed up. Who would want both Vivian and Dominic dead? Could her own illegitimacy (she's really the daughter of dying millionaire Alban Galloway) provide a motive, or. . .? A solid first novel for those who like their tough guys philosophical; good action scenes and just enough plot twists. Read full book review >