cover image The Chicago Way

The Chicago Way

Michael Harvey, , read by Stephen Hoye. . Random House Audio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-5466-7

Writer and TV producer Harvey's debut novel, in which Chicago PI Michael Kelley seeks the solution to an eight-year-old rape and battery case, is so old-school hard-boiled it should have “caper” in the title. The first-person narrative comes complete with such standard ingredients as a murdered former partner, several sultry babes, mobsters, tough cops and characters from high society as well as low. The last thing this moderately engrossing example of Raymond Chandler lite needs is a reader determined to call attention to its weaknesses. Unfortunately, Stephen Hoye's idea of noir coolspeak is an exaggerated emphasis on certain key words in a sentence (“Three questions buzzed through the early morning fog I call my brain ....”). The result is an annoying singsong that pushes the tough prose into parody and, in the case of Hoye's absurdly breathy, insinuating female voices, beyond. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, June 25). (Aug.)