The Governor's Wife

Knopf. Jun. 2015. 256p. ISBN 9780307958648. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307958655. F
OrangeReviewStarWhen Illinois Gov. Raymond Perry is sentenced to prison for fraud and racketeering, he enters an elevator in Chicago's Dirksen Building and disappears. Soon afterward, PI and ex-cop Michael Kelly gets an anonymous email offering him $200,000 to find Perry, no questions asked. Naturally, he begins with Mrs. Perry, an enigma who fears that her husband is dead. Further probing, with help from a cop friend, leads to a mysterious construction conglomerate where Kelly is violently warned off. It appears that a shadowy political cabal is behind a decades-long skimming of road construction funds with the governor so much involved that $60 million has gone missing with him. The ruthless pols are eliminating anyone involved while they pressure Kelly to find the money.
VERDICT Harvey, a journalist and cocreator of TV's Cold Case Files, knows Chicago like Raymond Chandler knew Los Angeles, and these mean streets come alive even as bodies pile up. Wisecracking Kelly continues asking questions while keeping a gun handy. Following his stand-alone The Innocence Game, Harvey returns to his PI series (We All Fall Down) with a tale that gains power with its familiar city and political scenes, but it's the characters and action, often shifting, brutal, and surprising, that will keep readers enthralled and willfully suspending disbelief. [See Prepub Alert, 12/15/14.]
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