VJ Books Blog

(Publisher’s Weekly, Aug. 25)

When Isaac Richmond, a retired army colonel, asks Chicago PI Ray Dudgeon to look into his daughter’s murder, Dudgeon, who’s still recovering from the injuries he sustained in Big City, Bad Blood, reluctantly agrees to take the $50,000 case in this engrossing follow-up. Joan Richmond’s death looks straightforward: a deranged co-worker, Steven Zhang, shot her in her home and then committed suicide. Never one to accept the simplest answer, Dudgeon starts digging and discovers that Joan’s former employer was Hawk River, a military contract company under congressional investigation. Steve’s widow soon reveals her husband’s ties to China, and Dudgeon realizes that Joan’s murder could lead back to both the Department of Homeland Security and some ruthless military contractors. Himself a former PI,¬†Chercover brings a crackling authenticity to Dudgeon, paying homage to the noir masters while creating a doggedly stubborn new hero all his own. (Oct. 2008)

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