How far would you go to protect everything you love?
On the South Side of Chicago, youre only as strong as your reputation. Danny Carter and his best friend, Evan, earned theirs knocking over pawnshops and liquor stores, living from score to score, never thinking of tomorrow.
Then a job went desperately wrong, and in the roar of a gun blast, everything changed.
Years later, Danny doesnt think about his past. Hes built a new world for himself: a legitimate career, a long-term girlfriend, and a clean conscience. Hes just like anyone else. Normal. Successful. Happy.
Until he spots his old partner staring him down in a smoky barroom mirror. The prison-hardened Evan is barely recognizable. Having served his time without dropping Dannys name, his old friend believes hes owed major payback---and hes willing to do anything to get it. With all he loves on the line and nowhere to turn, Danny realizes his new life hinges on a terrible choice: How far will he go to protect his future from his past?
A debut novel thats drawn comparison to Dennis Lehane, Laura Lippman, and Quentin Tarantino, The Blade Itself is the story of a good man held hostage by circumstance; a riveting exploration of class, identity, and the demons that shape us, where every effort to do the right thing leads to terrifying consequences and one inevitable conclusion:
The New York Times - Janet Maslin
The Blade Itself does keep this subject suspenseful: not until the very end of the story is it clear who Danny is or where he stands. His ability to churn these questions so vigorously will bring Mr. Sakey attention and give him a toehold among the crime writers he admires.
Sakey's insights into Danny's struggles to maintain a decent, honest life truly make the story stand out.
...a valuable addition to Chicago crime lit, a landscape currently dominated by authors of detective stories (Sara Paretsky) and legal thrillers (Scott Turow). A promising start from a writer willing to get deep into a city's grit.
Starred Review. Sakey's brilliant debut, a crime novel set in Chicago, is a must read. From the thrilling opening, a horribly botched pawnshop robbery by childhood friends Evan and Danny, to the riveting ending, the tension ratchets up to almost unbearable levels.
Booklist - Connie Fletcher
Fast pacing, full-bodied if flawed characters, effective use of the Chicago landscape, surprising plot twists, and some thought-provoking musings on the changing nature of longtime friendships give this debut caper novel both substance and suspense. Sakey is a writer to watch.
T. Jefferson Parker, author of The Fallen The Blade Itself is a terrifically good debut---streetwise, heartfelt, and exciting. I loved this book.
George Pelecanos, author of The Night Gardener
Taut, involving, and memorable. Marcus Sakey is an authentic, original new voice in crime fiction.
Lee Child, author of The Hard Way
A truly excellent debut---like vintage Elmore Leonard crossed with classic Dennis Lehane.”
Marcus Sakey was born in Flint, Michigan and graduated from the
University of Michigan. He is married
and lives in Chicago where he has recently completed his second novel, At the City's Edge (Jan 2008). To prepare for
The Blade Itself he shadowed
homicide detectives, learned to pick a
deadbolt in sixty seconds, and drank
plenty of Jameson.
Sakey was motivated to write a book
after inviting author J.A. Konrath out
for a beer following a speech Konrath
gave at Columbia College, which Sakey
attended for a short time. When they
staggered out of the bar five hours
later one particular comment of
Konrath's was seared into Sakey's brain:
"You could stay in school, and in a year
youll have an MFA. Or you could leave
and have a manuscript." Put that way,
Sakey says the choice was easy!
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