Michael Kelly, former officer with the Chicago Police Department and now a private investigator, is approached by his old partner, John Gibbons, who is trying to solve an eight year old sexual assault case. Shortly after Kelly agrees to look into it, Gibbons is found dead near Navy Pier. What seems like a coincidental death becomes just the first in a series of murders that has Kelly asking questions in all the wrong places and looking under rocks all around the city of Chicago. He finds a cover-up in the police department, tied to a death row inmate, and of course, the all pervasive Chicago political machine.
Harvey has written a book set in contemporary Chicago that gives the reader a taste of the Windy City salted with touches of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. This is a gritty crime novel that makes you feel the grime and never stops moving once you start turning the pages. This is a great crime novel replete with complicated friendships and a little romance that stays a couple steps ahead of the reader, setting you up for a surprise at the end.
This is a novel that was first published in 2007, but that I only recently discovered by happenstance. I was so intrigued by "The Chicago Way" that I also read the two sequels, "The Fifth Floor" and the "The Third Rail" in short order. Disappointed that I had reached the end of the series, I was heartened to find out that Harvey has a fourth book in the Michael Kelly series being released this summer (July 2012), titled, "We All Fall Down."