Review: Charlie Newton's debut novel, Calumet City, is a dark, gritty, and suspenseful tale of the cops, and one in particular, that patrol the gangland streets of Chicago.
Patti Black escaped from an appalling, terrifying life in a foster home in Calumet City, a suburb south of Chicago. She faced her demons, buried them, and escaped. She was still a teen-ager. With a lot of help she brought herself up out of the gutter and became a Chicago cop. Though she remained an embittered adult, she showed integrity, honesty and fairness when it was due. But she had a deep, dreadful secret concerning her life in Calumet City, one she thought she would never reveal to any one. On her application to the police academy she purposely omitted or simply lied about certain areas of her life. This seemed to go unnoticed. Now it appears as if her past is going to haunt her. When some factions of the city want a casino in Chicago, and others are determined to fight it, an attempt is made on the mayor's life. Then a huge drug bust fails, killing one and injuring two. The state attorney is found murdered. And a woman's body, identified as the foster mother of Patti, is found buried in a wall of an old building. Coincidences? Patti doesn't think so.
Calumet City is a dark and frequently violent tale of a part of Chicago that the board of tourism doesn't promote. The story, which at times seems more than a little derivative, moves along at a rapid pace due partly to Newton's crisp style of writing but due primarily to the fully developed character of Patti Black. As an interesting side note, Patti Black is based on a real Chicago police officer with whom the author spent time while developing the story for this book. His research pays off with this terrific thriller.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Calumet City.
Acknowledgment: Simon & Schuster provided an ARC of Calumet City for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Calumet City: Chicago, Illinois
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Calumet City by Charlie Newton
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: March 2008
List Price: $14.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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