A disillusioned newspaper reporter turned private detective, Ray Dudgeon isn't trying to save the world. He just wants to do an honest job, and do it well. But when doing an honest job threatens society's most powerful and corrupt, Ray's odds for survival make for a sucker's bet. . . .
While working on a movie in Chicago, Hollywood locations manager Bob Loniski saw something he shouldn't have. Now he's a prosecution witness against a suspected member of the Chicago Outfit. Petrified, he comes to Ray for protection. Ray's mob contacts insist that they have no interest in Loniski, so he takes the bodyguard gig.
Then people start dying and everything goes to hell.
Ray's investigation leads to a stash of blackmail files involving the sex trade, Washington political corruption, and a deadly power struggle among Chicago's organized crime bosses—setting the FBI, the Chicago police, and the mob on his tail. He now holds evidence against top-ranking cops and politicians . . . but with the line between good and bad blurring, he doesn't know who he can trust.
If he does the right thing, Ray is sure to die. But if he doesn't, how can he live with himself?
From the back alleys of Chicago to the man-sions of Beverly Hills to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., Sean Chercover's Big City, Bad Blood propels readers relentlessly forward on a bullet-fast, adrenaline-pumping ride they will not soon forget.
Real-life Chicago PI Chercover, in his impressive hard-boiled debut, introduces Ray Dudgeon, a former Chicago reporter disillusioned with the newspaper business who has turned private detective. When Bob Loniski, a locations manager for Hollywood films, hires Dudgeon for protection after running afoul of a mid-level gangster, Dudgeon finds himself in the middle of an organized crime war. A number of forces hamper Dudgeon's efforts to keep his client alive, even as his probing reveals that Loniski may have witnessed a prominent local politician keeping unsavory company and that the violence may be connected to a broader conspiracy. Like many a classic PI, Dudgeon behaves according to his own subjective code. The author's considerable storytelling and characterization gifts compare favorably with those of Loren D. Estleman and other established masters of the crime genre.