City Blood: A Novel of Revenge

Clark Howard, Author O. Penzler Books $23 (330p) ISBN 978-1-883402-39-6
This unusual cop story set in Chicago ends with a whimper but offers moments that glitter with insight and gritty, urban realism. The brutal murder of a topless dancer sends Chicago cop Joe Kiley and his longtime partner on an unofficial hunt for the victim's boyfriend, the brother of a mob kingpin. Kiley, a wary loner who seems aimed toward self-destruction, is distraught when his partner is killed in the course of their probings. His guilt is not eased when the dead dancer's twin sister comes on to him or when he and his partner's widow are drawn together. Although the dancer's murderer is soon determined not be the mobster's brother, Kiley stays on that trail, which leads him to a city bar where organized crime and a powerful gang come together. Howard (Quicksilver) doesn't give us a nice-guy hero in Joe and litters his work with crude acts of bigotry and rank prejudice. His villains are named early and his characterizations are uneven, but this graphic depiction of urban and emotional decay carries a powerful, lasting punch. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/1994
Release date: 12/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
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