Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Bad Kitty Lounge: A Mystery / by Michael Wiley

Chicago PI Joe Kozmarski knows he's in for it when Greg Samuelson, a man with a long history of troubling issues and knack for misbehaving, hires Joe to help keep tabs on his wife Amy and her lover Eric Stone. But Samuelson isn't one for waiting patiently and promptly torches the car belonging to Stone while continuing to personally harass the couple who in turn try to hire Kozmarski as their own lookout. A sinister web of lies and deceit starts unfolding as further mayhem, including the dead body of a nun who worked with Samuelson, heats up Kozmarski's world leading the former police detective to uncover some incriminating secrets about his client's involvement in the arson case (now cold) of a long-since forgotten nightclub--The Bad Kitty Lounge. In the 1960's the lounge was a hip hangout for counterculture types who used the establishment as a prominent drug den before a fatal fire destroyed it.
As Joe begins uncovering some startling evidence linking his clients with the place, more dead bodies start turning up as the case builds in treachery and dramatics. Wiley, author of the award-winning The Last Striptease, also featuring Kozmarski, hits the same exciting notes in this follow-up trailing his protagonist through Chicagoland and a maze of gritty intrigue, embittered relationships and dredged-up bad blood. Like most crime-fighters, the hefty drama of dealing with other people--all of them thoroughly undesirable characters--and their problems carries over into the personal side of things as Joe tries to balance his professional life with the tasks of caring for his aging mother and an adopted nephew. Crime buffs, mystery fans and readers in general will appreciate Wiley's feel for aspects of the big city and of Chicago's history and not-always-so-noble heritage. (MYS WILEY)

No comments: