The Blade Itself

Whoa, what a great book. This is the debut novel by an author who lives in Chicago named Marcus Sakey. Not sure how I heard about him, but you can read more about him at his website. It’s a crime thriller set in Chicago and the suburbs. The main character grew up in Bridgeport, lives in Wrigleyville, and works in construction for a developer who lives in Winnetka. Not sure why, but it’s just cool reading stuff that takes place in your city.

So there are two guys, Danny and Evan, who grew together and had a relatively lucrative trade in small-time robbery. That is, until one job goes awry, resulting in Evan getting locked up for seven years and Danny escaping without a scratch (thanks to Evan for keeping his pie hole shut). Danny goes on to live a normal life; he has a decent gig in construction, a nice girlfriend, and plenty of time for leisurely walks through the Lincoln Park Zoo. But it doesn’t last long once Evan gets out of jail and looks for some payback from Danny.

It’s a classic story line, but not tired. One half of the crime duo has a conscience and the other is a cold-blooded murderer. One wants out and the other can’t envision a life without crime. Sakey keeps it fresh by exploring Danny’s internal struggle, taking occasional shots at developers and yuppies, and making the villain really, really evil.

The ending was a little fluffy. I’ll be interested to see what others say about it.

I love the crime novel and I loved this book. Evidently, Ben Affleck also liked it because his production company supposedly bought the rights to the book. Hmmm. Sakey has his second book coming out any day now but I will sit tight for a year until comes out in paperback.