LAW & CRIME

Murder in Canaryville: The True Story Behind a Cold Case and a Chicago Cover-Up

Chicago Review. Jan. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781641602815. $28.99. CRIME
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Chicago Tribune crime and justice writer Coen (Family Secrets: The Case That Crippled the Chicago Mob) explores the 1976 unsolved murder of John Hughes, a 17-year-old shot in a park on the Southwest Side of Chicago. The death appeared to be the result of a post-party scuffle; tensions between the Italians, who hung out in McGuane Park, and the Irish, who kept to Boyce Field, ran high. But Detective James Sherlock’s investigation of this cold case reveals a cover-up involving individuals with suspected ties to organized crime and police corruption. Armed with a scant case file and decades-old accounts from key players, Sherlock is an effective central figure whose empathy and dedication add humanity to a complex story. Coen contextualizes the case with a brief overview of misconduct in the Chicago Police Department.
VERDICT In-depth and compelling investigative journalism that will resonate with those interested in organized crime and Chicago history and politics. Readers intrigued by this era in Chicago’s history may also enjoy Charles Hager’s Chicago Heights: Little Joe College, the Outfit, and the Fall of Sam Giancana.
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