The perfect fiction read is one you can't put down and yet can finish before the sun comes up. It gallops, it thrills, it amuses, it titillates, and it’s merciful in its length. When such reads are first-person crime adventure stories pitting a hero on a mission who won't quit despite mortal danger, long odds, and large-scale villains, the reader is sitting on her money's worth. Chicago Shiver — and Harry Pines — meet that test and leaven it with real romance, clever dialogue, steamy sex, and a supporting cast of trusty sidekicks.
In this, the second of the Harry Pines adventures, a beautiful model is found murdered in her bed behind locked windows and deadbolted doors and the man in her bed, himself bleeding and unconscious, didn’t do it. Harry won’t stop pulling on loose threads until he’s at the door, and the throat, of the most powerful politician in Illinois.
Holland's second present-day mystery featuring ex-con turned detective Harry Pines isn't quite as good as 2008's An Ice Cold Paradise. After getting out of prison for assaulting a federal agent, Pines catches a break when Chicago attorney Muhammad Ali prevents him from getting arrested after he defends himself from muggers. So when Ali asks Pines to leave Hawaii for the Windy City to help sportswriter Jack Netherland, found shot in a locked room on top of a strangled woman, he doesn't hesitate. The victim, Erica Conway, a former model, worked for a company that opened theme restaurants using the names of entertainment and sports stars, founded by the current governor of Illinois. Pines digs through her financial records and discovers that Conway was somehow able to deposit into her bank account $10,000 every month, despite being unemployed. Few will be shocked when the investigator finds Conway's diary, complete with embarrassing revelations about Gov. Michael Stratton. Things play out pretty predictably from there, and the book's ending will be familiar to readers of Holland's first Pines novel.