The Fifth Floor

The Fifth Floor

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
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Michael Harvey's sizzling follow-up to The Chicago Way (A magnificent debut that should be read by all--John Grisham; This book heralds the arrival of a major new voice--Michael Connelly) opens with a murder in contemporary Chicago and winds its way back to Mrs. O'Leary's cow and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. When PI Michael Kelly is hired by an ex-flame to tail her abusive husband, he expects trouble of a domestic rather than a historical nature. Life, however, is not so simple. The tail leads Kelly to an old house on Chicago's North Side. Inside it, the private investigator finds a body and, perhaps, the answer to one of Chicago's most enduring mysteries: who started the Great Chicago Fire and why. The ensuing investigation takes Kelly to places he'd rather not go, specifically, City Hall's fifth floor, where the mayor is feeling the heat and looking to play for keeps. Ultimately, Kelly finds himself in a world where nothing is quite what it seems, face-to-face with a killer bent on rewriting history and staring down demons from a past he never knew he had. A fast-stepping, intricately woven narrative, rich with the history and atmosphere of a great city, The Fifth Floor is a worthy successor to Harvey's critically acclaimed debut.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2008
ISBN: 9780307266873
0307266877
Characteristics: 277 p

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athompson10 Mar 27, 2015

Good and fast-paced, but the author throws in every character from the first Michael Kelly book, some unnecessarily.

joebooks Jul 12, 2011

Good shot at noir, but it reads like a copy of Robert B. Parker, but not done as well. I might have previously read it. Pace is very good, and the depiction of Chicago is spot on.

njkenney Feb 04, 2011

Private Investigator Michael Kelly agrees to tail a former girlfriend’s abusive husband and in the process, finds a dead body. The body is the first of several clues that seem to point to an age old conspiracy theory involving The Great Chicago Fire and Chicago’s City Hall. Kelly finds himself in the thick of things---one-on-one meetings with the Mayor, getting arrested for murder and wondering if the judge he’s seeing is somehow connected to the mob. Only in Chicago, right? This is an intriguing and suspenseful book made better with the research Kelly does at The Chicago History Museum and the fact that he’s looking for a first edition book.

Both Booklist and Publishers Weekly give the book rave reviews and liken Harvey’s style to Raymond Chandler and Sara Paretsky.

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