SEAN CHERCOVER – Big City Bad Blood. Ray Dudgeon #1. William Morrow, hardcover, January 2007. Harper, paperback, March 2008.

   The big city that the title of this first novel refers to is Chicago, and in it, just doing his job, PI Ray Dudgeon finds himself up against the Outfit — or better stated, caught in the crosshairs between two factions of the same.

   His client is a mild-mannered locations scout from Hollywood, who seems to have stumbled across a rental scam that so far has cost the lives of several of the inhabitants of a building he was looking at. His life threatened, want he needs to do is have Dudgeon act as his door-to-studio bodyguard.

   And Ray is more than tough enough to handle the job, but then again he doesn’t know ahead of time what he’s up against. Parts of this book are as brutal and hardboiled as they come, and deciding to stay with the case anyway, Ray also manages to lose the love of his life.

   I enjoyed the book, but as in most cases in which a PI is hired as a bodyguard, there is next to no detective work involved. I really don’t care for books in which the primary subject matter consists of gangsters, the Mob, or hoodlums in general, but if you do, then you may like this book even more than I did. (I also am no big fan of police procedurals any more, either. Fair is fair, I’d say.)


Bibliograhic Notes:   Awards and award nominations for this book:

2008 Shamus Award for Best First Novel
Finalist 2008 Anthony Award for Best First Novel
Finalist 2008 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel
Finalist 2008 Barry Award for Best First Novel
Finalist 2008 Thriller Award for Best First Novel

   There has been one followup novel in the series, that being Trigger City (2008), and several novelettes and short stories which either Dudgeon has appeared or some of the people he knows have lead roles in.