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Calumet Cityby Charlie Newton
Synopses & Reviews
Among the most self-assured and sharply crafted debuts in recent years, Calumet City detonates a Molotov cocktail of character-driven suspense and ghetto-Chicago intrigue.
Meet Patti Black, the most decorated cop in Chicago. On her ghetto beat, Patti Black redefines the word badass. But her steel-plated exterior — solitary, stoic, loveless — belies the wrenching legacy of her orphan childhood. Haunted by the horrifying abuse she suffered at the hands of her foster parents, Patti Black sublimates past torments into a meticulously maintained tough-gal persona.
When a series of unrelated cases — a drug bust gone bad, a mayoral assassination attempt, the murder of a state attorney, the exhumation of a long-concealed body from a tenement basement wall — all point in Patti Black's direction, she finds herself facing the dark truth: You can't hide from your history, no matter how far into the fog you run. For Patti Black, that history didn't die in the tenement wall; it's alive — and riding her down.
In researching this electrifying thriller, Charlie Newton rode in the squad car with real-life street cop Patti Black. The result is a powerful fiction debut that captures the precise emotional landscape of one cop's hard-bitten life in the trenches. This first-time author joins that rare breed whose fiction is suffused with profound authenticity
"Confrontational and uncompromising Patti Black, Chicago's most decorated cop, gets caught in a web of murder and betrayal in Newton's searing debut. When several unrelated cases threaten to reveal her horrific childhood as an abused runaway and teenage rape victim, Patti defies everybody to find Roland Ganz, her bte noir, who she suspects is behind the crimes; she must also locate the son she put up for adoption whom she thinks Roland is seeking. Accompanied by her sometime friend and rugby teammate, newspaper reporter Tracy Moens, she frantically follows a trail from Chicago to nearby Calumet City, the Arizona desert and back. The surprise ending includes a search on a houseboat moored on Lake Michigan during a tornado as well as a shootout in the depths of a disintegrating slum building. Newton, who based his heroine's character on a real Chicago police officer, creates a netherworld full of violent and duplicitous people. Pacing is all but absent amid the unrelenting action of the repetitive narrative." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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