by Mamet, David

"A big-shouldered, big-trouble thriller set in mobbed-up 1920s Chicago-a city where some people knew too much, and where everyone should have known better-by the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Untouchables and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Glengarry Glen Ross. Mike Hodge-veteran of the Great War, big shot of the Chicago Tribune, medium fry-probably shouldn't have fallen in love with Annie Walsh. Then, again, maybe the man who killed Annie Walsh have known better than to trifle with Mike Hodge. In Chicago, David Mamet has created a bracing, kaleidoscopic page-turner that roars through the Windy City's underground on its way to a thunderclap of a conclusion. Here is not only his first novel in more than two decades, but the book he has beenbuilding to for his whole career. Mixing some of his most brilliant fictional creations with actual figures of the era, suffused with trademark "Mamet Speak," richness of voice, pace, and brio, and exploring-as no other writer can-questions of honor, deceit, revenge, and devotion, Chicago is that rarest of literary creations: a book that combines spectacular elegance of craft with a kinetic wallop as fierce as the February wind gusting off Lake Michigan"-

*Starred Review* Acclaimed playwright (Glengarry Glen Ross) and screenwriter (The Untouchables) Mamet unpacks his literary arsenal in his first novel in two decades. Tribune reporter Mike Hodges is tracking a story involving the IRA and the trafficking of Thompson submachine guns in Capone-era Chicago when he attends the funeral of a recently gunned-down businessman and a clue leads him to a local florist. Mike becomes smitten with the florist's daughter, Annie, and begins a covert courtship shielded from the disapproving eyes of her strict Catholic family. When Annie is shot and killed in Mike's apartment, he assumes he is to blame. The first rule of the newsroom, Mamet reminds us, is "Never assume." Mamet offers a master class on dialogue as the witty repartee and newsroom banter mimic the syncopated pop of the infamous tommy gun while adding rich visual texture. The prose is economical yet lustrous, perfectly capturing a time when facility with language was prized. In brilliantly staged vignettes, reporters and cops share stories peppered with humorous anecdotes about unfortunate souls. As Hodges unravels the mystery surrounding Annie's death, leading him deeper into the underbelly of greed and power, his journey offers subtle commentary on class, religion, race, and politics. For readers of Elmore Leonard and Dennis Lehane.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Mamet is a magnet, and this thriller set in his hometown, Chicago, will be robustly promoted on all media fronts. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

A major bard of the Windy City returns, this time with a novel devoted to the mob era and some of its more minor players.Aside from a few questionable forays into right-wing politics, Mamet (Three War Stories, 2013, etc.) is heard from too little these days. That's unfortunate, because few writers are better at bringing the smart, charged dialogue of the theater into conventional prose. "They loved your quip, about 'he died of a broken heart,'" says Parlow, a journeyman writer on every topic of culture and commerce imaginable, to his pal Mike Hodge, a hard-boiled reporter for the Trib who is much admired and much feared. "You should have been there, they picked up the tab for dinner." "They" are one of the several crews of very bad gangsters who have just "iced" Jacob Weiss, a showman knee-deep in misbehavior. But who? Therein hangs one of several mysteries, the largest of them the identity of the fellow who iced Mike's girlfriend, Annie Walsh, as Mike and she were freshening up after a tryst. Not a good idea: Mike is a former fighter ace ("He had killed in France, in the air, which he did not mind at all; and killed strafing ground troops, which upset him") who won't be thrown off a scent—and the stench of murder and mayhem is thick. The story moves at a careening pace, drawing on a small but memorable cast of characters, with cameos by a few historical figures; the palaver isn't as snappy as, say, House of Games, but it's brisk and believable. Readers should note that there's scarcely an ethnic group that doesn't come in for a slur along the way, but that's part of the verisimilitude: these are not nice people, excepting the deceased Annie—and even she has a few dark corners. Of a piece with character studies such as E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime and John Sayles' Eight Men Out, Mamet's book does Chicago—and organized crime—proud. An evocative, impressive return that Mamet fans will welcome. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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