cover image Sauce for the Goose

Sauce for the Goose

Robert Campbell, R. Wright Campbell. Mysterious Press, $18.95 (229pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-608-0

Time has seemingly stood still in Chicago's Twenty-seventh ward, where the political machine still hums and where Jimmy Flannery (seen before in Cat's Meow) lives with his wife and baby daughter. In this latest tale, the city's parking meters are up for privatization, and the mob is moving in. Flannery's a sewer inspector by profession, but his real calling is as a committeeman for the Democratic Party: he's a footsoldier, an asker and granter of favors. In an attempt to tame his palookaville grammar and smooth his rough edges, Jimmy's attending night school-where his political science teacher just happens to be the big-time lawyer charged with deciding who gets the coveted meter contract. This big shot is bedding a mobster's young wife while his own better-half lies in a mysterious coma; his fancy car gets blood all over it and his thuggish bodyguard (also attending Jimmy's class) is soon horizontal at the undertakers. Meanwhile, a disgraced cop, having landed a job baby-sitting a dead lady's dog, is also trying to provide a home for human strays. Before ``network'' was a verb, guys like Jimmy practiced it: here, he digs deep into the favor bank to find what's what. Although Campbell regularly overdoes Jimmy's gruff goodness, he's added another warm tale to a consistently winning series. (Aug.)