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IS HOLLYWOOD CALLING??,
This review is from: The Chicago Way: Reissued (Paperback)
For this reader Michael Harvey's freshman venture into the hard-boiled crime drama genre is more James M. Cain than Dashiell Hammett and the hero is more Dana Andrews in Laura than Humphrey Bogart. If compared to the noir movies of the 40's the reader is left with a picture of Robert Mitchum or Sterling Hayden as the protagonist Mike Kelly, Barbara Stanwyck as Elaine Remington and Lauren Bacall as Diane Lindsey. Today casting directors would probably give us Gerard Butler, Cameron Diaz, and Nicole Kidman in those parts.
The story is a fascinating patchwork of Chicago settings from the Drake Hotel ballroom to the back alleys of the windy city "burbs" with bleak pessimistic observations on everything from serial killers, politics, race and gender to pondering observations of ancient Greek philosophers.
Unlike many writers today who feel obligated to fill 500 plus pages with entire chapters describing the color of the sky, Harvey's background in journalism and television documentary production is obvious in his writing style. His sparse "who, what, where, when, why and how" approach to storytelling is a good thing. He hooks you from chapter one, succinctly gives you the information you need while moving the story along at a healthy clip. Things never get boring and the plot never lags as we play "armchair shamus" to Mike Kelly's real deal.
This is a better than average debut and I look forward to another walk on Chicago's wild side in the company of PI Mike Kelly. 3 1/2 stars