Michael Harveys sizzling follow-up to The Chicago Way (A magnificent debut that should be read by allJohn Grisham; This book heralds the arrival of a major new voiceMichael Connelly) opens with a murder in contemporary Chicago and winds its way back to Mrs. OLearys cow and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
When PI Michael Kelly is hired by an ex-flame to tail her abusive husband, he expects trouble of a domestic rather than a historical nature. Life, however, is not so simple. The tail leads Kelly to an old house on Chicagos North Side. Inside it, the private investigator finds a body and, perhaps, the answer to one of Chicagos most enduring mysteries: who started the Great Chicago Fire and why. The ensuing investigation takes Kelly to places hed rather not go, specifically, City Halls fifth floor, where the mayor is feeling the heat and looking to play for keeps. Ultimately, Kelly finds himself in a world where nothing is quite what it seems, face-to-face with a killer bent on rewriting history and staring down demons from a past he never knew he had.
A fast-stepping, intricately woven narrative, rich with the history and atmosphere of a great city, The Fifth Floor is a worthy successor to Harveys critically acclaimed debut.
No part of the book feels unrealistic, a bold evaluation considering the breadth of drama protagonist Michael Kelly finds himself mired in: romantic turmoil, witness of two murders (one of which he becomes the suspect of), and political controversy stretching backwards several generations and forwards into the city's future. In fact, this latter issue feels particularly relevant as Harvey pits an old-hat white politician against a less experienced, younger black one.
There is something in The Fifth Floor for every type of reader, and few should miss out on its fast-paced, unwittingly educational thrill ride. (Reviewed by Allison Stadd).
Starred Review. Dry wit, delectable clues and tricky leads hallmark this trenchant tale of the Windy City.
Starred Review. Harvey's plot twists in all the right places, and his noir-inspired dialogue crackles without sounding showy. Marlowe and Spade would readily welcome Michael Kelly into their fold.
Michael Harvey is a magnificent new voice.
In The Fifth Floor, Michael Harvey gives us a tale of murder, bare-knuckle mayoral politics, and historical catastrophe–in short, the perfect Chicago detective story, complete with a loving tour of the city’s funkier locales that’ll make any displaced Chicagoan long for home.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Joe Lake The Fifth Floor by Michael Harvey Read straight through in eight hours. Since I know many of the places mentioned in the book, I could relate very rapidly to the plot. Now someone must write, "The Fifth Floor,"--only make it non-fiction.
Joe Lake, Chicago (Bucktown)
The Great Chicago Fire burned from about 9pm on October 8th to
early on the 10th, 1871. The source of the blaze is unknown; for many
years it was believed that the fire was caused by a cow kicking over a lantern, but more than
twenty years after the fact the reporter responsible for first publishing this
story admitted that he'd made it up.
Although the number of lives lost was relatively low considering the extent of
the fire (about 200-300 people), the fire is still remembered today, partially
because of the extent of the damage (about four square miles of the mainly
wooden city were destroyed), but mainly as the catalyst for the city's subsequent growth into one of the most economically important and populous
A Study in pictures of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 from the Chicago
The nephew of the wealthiest woman in L.A. is missing and wanted for murder. Fearless Jones and Paris Minton are tricked into picking up the case and find themselves inside the world of the black bourgeoisie.
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