RED WINTER by Michael Cormany


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Kruger, the Chicago p.i. who'll swallow anything (from valium to antihistamines to Stroh's to brandy), here swallows real-estate developer Nicholas Cheyney's story of being blackmailed for belonging to a communist group back in the 60's--a story that, he says, would blackball him from membership in the swanky Metropolitan Club if it got out. Off to meet the blackmailer goes Kruger--except that the dude is a stand-in, and his dying word, as he's killed by a junkie, is "Cecilia." Kruger is soon hot on the trail of radical-leftist Cecilia Buford, her chum Susan DuSell, and Israel Lipke (Susan's lover), but he keeps getting sidetracked and entangled in the nefarious dealings of ward boss Frankie Nilardo; crooked cop Thomas Lord; and the '83 mayoral election machinations. Then Lipke is killed, ditto another radical, and even to Kruger's sauteed brains the situation begins to seem more serious than old leftist leanings. Meanwhile, Cecilia keeps phoning in with tantalizing clues; Nilardo sends out the strong-arms; and Kruger falls into a bootleg tape operation, a black whorehouse frequented by white politicos, and a kiddie-porn magazine featuring a very young Susan and her "Uncle"--which turns out to be what all the fuss is all about. Horrific shoot-out ending, with a few more deaths than absolutely called for. But, in the tough-guy mold, a better-than-average Chicago story, combining its Daley-inspired shenanigans with a serviceable mystery plot.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1989
ISBN: 8184-0497-3
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