Ex-St. Paul cop Rushmore McKenzie has more time, and more money, than he knows what to do with. In fact, when he's willing to admit it to himself (and he usually isn't), Mac is downright bored. Until he decides to do a favor for a friend facing a family tragedy: Nine-year-old Stacy Carlson has been diagnosed with leukemia, and the only one with the matching bone marrow that can save her is her older sister, Jamie. Trouble is, Jamie ran away from home years ago.
Mac begins combing the backstreets of the Twin Cities, tracking down Jamie's last known associates. He starts with the expected pimps and drug dealers, but the path leads surprisingly to some of the Cities' most respected businessmen, as well as a few characters far more unsavory than the street hustlers he anticipated. As bullets fly and bodies drop, Mac persists, only to find that what he's looking for, and why, are not exactly what he'd imagined.
David Housewright's uncanny ability to turn the Twin Cities into an exotic, brooding backdrop for noir fiction, and his winning, witty hero Rushmore McKenzie, serve as a wicked one-two punch in A Hard Ticket Home, a series debut that reinforces Housewright's well-earned reputation as one of crime fiction's rising stars.
Housewright's first mystery series (for which he won an Edgar) about Holland Taylor, a former St. Paul cop who became a smart-talking private eye, trickled out after three books. His new series is about Rushmore McKenzie, a former St. Paul cop who becomes a smart-talking (albeit unlicensed) private eye. What makes them different? Not all that much. The earlier series was perhaps a bit harder-edged: Taylor left the force after he was accused of murdering the drunk driver who killed his wife and child, while McKenzie's motives for going private involve a sudden cash windfall when he captures a wanted swindler. And many chuckles are generated by McKenzie's first name (he was conceived on a trip to Mt. Rushmore), which is why he prefers to be called Mac. But basically McKenzie is the same kind of genial doofus his predecessor was, a true son of Spenser who tells us in great detail about every Pig's Eye beer he drinks and every opera record he plays. The author has a sharp, bouncy prose style, and his story about Mac's search for a friend's long-missing daughter who can possibly be a bone marrow donor for her younger sister has some touching and exciting moments. But Housewright has been shopping for interesting character traits at the same store for too long, and there's nothing here to show that a series about McKenzie will be any different or any more successful than the one about Taylor.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Interesting read, unless you admire geography
I found this book to be entertaining. It was written in a style you don't see much anymore...kind of old style, private eye.
The author spent alot of time describing the geography of where he was - not all of it correct, but interesting for us local Minnesotans or northern Minnesotans in my case. Why would you go through McGregor on your way to the Twin Cities from Grand Rapids. And no, it's not on 169 as mentioned.
All in all I'll most likely give this guy another shot.