Private detective Michael Kelly returns in a lightning-paced, intricately woven mystery. When Kelly is hired by an old girlfriend to tail her abusive husband, he expects trouble of a domestic rather than a historical nature. Life, however, is not so simple.
The trail leads to a dead body in an abandoned house on Chicago's North Side and then to places Kelly would rather not go: specifically, City Hall's fabled fifth floor, where the mayor is feeling the heat. Kelly becomes embroiled in a scam that stretches from current politics back to the night Chicago burned to the ground. Along the way, he finds himself framed for murder, before finally facing a killer bent on rewriting history.
Harvey's superb second thriller to feature PI Michael Kelly (after 2007's The Chicago Way) has the ex-Chicago cop taking on what he thinks is a simple domestic violence case. But when he tails Johnny Woods, a "fixer" for the city's powerful mayor, to what turns out to be a grisly murder scene, Kelly realizes he's stumbled onto a scandal that began with the great Chicago Fire of 1871. Digging deeper, Kelly unearths what was once considered an urban legend: two of Chicago's most eminent families conspiring to eradicate Irish immigrants by burning down the city's slums. As more bodies pile up and he becomes romantically involved with a judge with secrets of her own, Kelly vows to expose the conspiracy, even if that means putting himself on the wrong side of the city's most powerful men. Harvey's plot twists in all the right places, and his noir-inspired dialogue crackles without sounding showy. Marlowe and Spade would readily welcome Michael Kelly into their fold. 4-city author tour.