William Morrow, $23.95
When I finished reading Sean Chercover’s Big City, Bad Blood last year, I wondered how he could follow up such a strong debut novel. He put his protagonist Ray Dudgeon, one of the most original PI-types to come down the pike in a long time, through a physical and emotional wringer. I’ve never been to Chicago, but Chercover made it live for me on every page. Big City, Bad Blood was one of the best novels I read in 2007.
Well, no worries about sophomore slump because Trigger City, the second Ray Dudgeon novel, is even better. Dudgeon is still recovering from injuries he suffered during the events of the previous book. His principles have cost him clients and made new enemies. He needs money to pay for surgery on his shoulder. Enter Isaac Richmond, who wants Dudgeon to uncover the truth—no matter how unpleasant—about his murdered daughter’s life. Ray doesn’t want to take the case, but the $50K retainer is hard to pass up. The deeper he digs, the further Dudgeon sinks into the shadowy world of covert intelligence and government corruption.
Sean Chercover is a powerful, gifted writer who knows his stuff. He’s exactly what the PI genre needs right now. I predict he will be as influential to the next generation of crime writers as Robert B. Parker was thirty years ago.