1969 finds a Chicago cop surrounded by enemies, only some of whom are hoods.
Mike Dooley is smart, tough and a pain in the neck. He’s an obstacle to the go-along, get along approach to law enforcement embraced by so many of his fellow officers. The ugly murder of Sally Kotowski—beaten, raped, tortured—is a case in point. After seeing what’s been done to the former Playboy bunny, Dooley vows to bring the perps to justice. Soon enough, his hard work pays off in a confession. But Dooley thinks it feels rigged, overly convenient, part of a complex cover-up. So he digs in his heels. The brass, struck by this typically cantankerous display, wonder why Dooley would look a gift horse in the mouth with cases as hard to clear as they are. They point out that there could be some powerful people involved with the killing, people who’ve been protected for a long time, people who could become exceedingly vindictive unless Dooley agrees to go along and get along just this once.
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.