“The best way I can describe the Four Corners neighborhood of Chicago is find a length of rebar, scratch a big cross into the concrete, set your feet solid in the quadrant you like best, lean back, and start shooting.”
Officer Bobby Vargas is hard-edged but idealistic, a Chicago cop who stands at the epicenter of a subterranean plot that will have horrific ramifications for both himself and the entire city. Twenty-five years earlier, a gruesome murder rocked the unforgiving streets of Four Corners. Now, suddenly, a dying Chicago paper is running a serial exposé on new evidence in that old case, threatening to implicate Bobby and his older brother, Ruben—a decorated, high-ranking detective and cop- prince of the streets. The smear campaign stirs up decades-old bad blood, leading the Vargas brothers down an increasingly twisted and terrifying path, where the sins of the past threaten to destroy what remains of the truth.
As readers and critics discovered in his first novel, Calumet City, Charlie Newton’s Chicago is a landscape as brutal and poignant as any in modern crime fiction—a multi-faceted, shockingly violent labyrinth of gangland politics, political backstabbing, corporate malfeasance, and, possibly, hope. Start Shooting is a riveting read.
Edgar-finalist Newton follows his acclaimed debut, Calumet City (2008), with a gritty and complex novel of gangland alliances, police corruption, and a tragic murder that continues to haunt decades later. Police officers Bobby Vargas and his brother, Ruben, were brought up in the tough, gang-infested streets of Chicago's Four Corners neighborhood. Back in 1982, a 13-year-old Irish American girl, Coleen Brennan, was found raped and murdered, her apparent assailants a couple of neighborhood thugs, one of whom was convicted and executed. Bobby and the slain girl, who lived next door at the time, had been involved in an innocent yet forbidden romance. Now, a local newspaper reporter has been writing a series of pieces implicating the Vargas brothers in the murder. Meanwhile, Arleen Brennan, Coleen's twin sister, who's returned to Chicago with some baggage of her own, dreams of finally becoming a successful actress, at any cost. A somewhat silly subplot involving WWII-era biological terrorism is Newton's only misstep in an otherwise excellent effort.
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Outstanding twists from a truly up and coming excellent author. Very unique style, writing in first person perspectives from two different characters. Well conceived story weaving a modern day Streetcar into a story focusing on the play. Enjoyed it immensely. Looking forward to more great work from Newton.
Awesome!!! Must read.