Kirkus Star


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In Kleinfeld’s spellbinding debut, a young Chicago cop chases a pair of killers-for-hire who are also star-crossed lovers.

As he steps from a taxi, prominent Chicago architect Wilson Willetts is murdered by an inept assassin who thereupon gets himself nabbed with indecent haste. Apart from Willetts’s friends and relatives, just about everyone is happy that such a high-profile case has been cleared with such admirable efficiency. Preparing for trial, State’s Attorney Sy Vytautis is happy because visions of sugary headlines dance in his ambitious head. The arresting officers, sexy Mark Bergman and grizzled John Dunegan, his mentor/trainer/partner, are happy because the brass in blue are happy. But happiest of all are professional killer Arthur Reid and his alluring, adoring apprentice Dina Velaros. Now that they’ve dispatched Willetts and framed feckless Emilio Jesus Garcia, they plan a sybaritic retirement in winemaking country, far from their pursuers. Bergman and Dunegan are excellent cops, however, and something about a case so impeccably neat and complete begins to rankle. Sensibilities alerted, they take a fresh look, and soon enough find themselves in an alternative investigation, awash in an archipelago of hidden, homicidal agendas.

Appealing heroes and villains, a quirky love story, wit, style, suspense, plus all the authenticity of an Ed McBain procedural. Lose yourself in it.

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59414-739-5
Page count: 446pp
Publisher: Five Star
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2008