I found The Fifth Floor by Michael Harvey while shelving books at Borders. I like P.I. stories so I tried it out. Jackpot. It was the second book in the series so of course I had to read the first book immediately. The Chicago Way was so good I bought a copy for myself and one for my mother. I hoped there would be more and was not disappointed. Four books are out now and each is more complex than the previous.
Who is Michael Harvey?
Before writing The Chicago Way Michael Harvey had a lot of experience writing about crime. He helped create, write, and produce the TV show, Cold Case Files. He has also made various documentaries that have won several awards. He lives in Chicago, which might explain how he can describe it so accurately. He has a law degree from Duke University and a masters in journalism from Northwestern University. I wonder how he has any time to write such great books.
Why do I love this book?
Chicago. Except for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off I have never given Chicago much thought. And then I read The Chicago Way and the city came alive. The way Michael Harvey describes Chicago makes it seem like one of the most interesting places on Earth. His descriptions of the weather, the lake, the bars, the trains, the sidewalks, the food, and the politics all added up to one of the best settings for a mystery ever. Move over New York City, move over Los Angeles and San Francisco. I want to explore Chicago, Michael Harvey’s Chicago.
Not only did Michael Harvey bring the setting to life he also brought us P.I. Michael Kelly, one of the good guys who can’t catch a break for anything. In a world of corruption he fights for truth and of course that means everyone wants to kill him. Maybe not everyone but enough that I wondered how he was going to survive the book. Luckily he did and continued to so for three more books.
These books have plots that keep you turning the page consisting of complicated crimes and lots of political intrigue. In Michael Kelly’s world no one should be trusted. It is impossible to know who is telling the truth and who is lying. It has the feel of a Sam Spade novel. You know everyone is lying but they are so convincing and charismatic you just want to believe them. I was duped time and time again. That is how good of an author Michael Harvey is.
No book is perfect. This is what bugs me…
This book may not be perfect but I enjoyed it too much to find anything to complain about. It is a winner.
Why should you read this book?
You should read this book because it is an awesome mystery novel, set in a corrupt, fascinating city, starring a tough, compassionate, P.I. That’s why.
A Quote Worth Quoting
“I was on the second floor of a three-story walk-up on Chicago’s North Side. Outside the Hawk blew hard off the lake and flattened itself against the bay windows. I didn’t care. I had my feet up, a cup of Earl Grey, and my own list of the ten greatest moments in Cubs history.” Michael Harvey The Chicago Way