Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shooters and Chasers-Lenny Kleinfeld

Shooters and Chasers
Lenny Kleinfeld
Five Star, Jan 2009, $25.95
ISBN: 9781594147395

In Chicago, taxi driver Naguib Darwahab takes his fare renowned architect Wilson Willets home. Because they hit it off so well, he gives Wilson his copy of a tape. However, out of an alley rushes a mugger who shoots and kills the architect, but leaves the driver alive.

Homicide detectives Mark Bergman and John Dunegan lead to what appears to be a solved case as Naguib can identify the killer. The cops arrest Emeelio “Meelo” Garcia whose car contains the murder weapon and the victim’s wallet. However, anomalies surface to include Naguib saying Meelo is not the killer in spite of his telltale tattoo. Other seemingly minor oddities also surface so that in spite of the brass wanting to take Meelo to trial during an AG election year, the dedicated cops look elsewhere for suspects including a pristine architectural competition.

This excellent police procedural stars two cops who perfectly represent Chicago as one is a Cub fan and the other a Sox fan. The set up is terrific as the case appears to be a random mugging killing with the solid evidence overwhelmingly convicting Meelo at a surface glance. However, the cops find tiny holes that grow increasingly bigger and the key witness places heavy doubts on Meelo. With several twists and a strong cast on both sides of the law, readers will appreciate this fabulous whodunit.

Harriet Klausner