Title: The Chicago Way & The Fifth Floor
Author: Michael Harvey
ISBN: 9780307386281 & 9780307386298
Pages: 303 & 288
Release Date: July 8, 2008 & July 14, 2009
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Michael Kelly is a former Chicago policeman, turned private investigator. In The Chicago Way, his former partner comes to him for help on an old rape case, bringing Kelly into the disturbing world of rapists and their victims. In The Fifth Floor, Michael takes on the mayor’s office as he investigates new information about The Great Fire of Chicago of 1871.
I’m always on the lookout for good mysteries, so when I received a review offer for the third book in the Michael Kelly series, I was interested in going back and reading the first two books, The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor. Now having read them, I am astonished that I did not know about these amazing books before and am so grateful that I was introduced to this gripping series.
Michael Kelly is a very well-written main character. He is gritty, but not so much so that his personal issues overwhelm the story. His judgment is sound and he is smart and capable. I loved how much he cared about his job and the people he was trying to protect; Kelly is a good man through and through, and it really shows over the course of these two novels.
I also loved the way these books were written. The banter was straight out of a Bogie/Bacall movie – I could hear Sam Spade narrating in my head. At the same time, though, they are modern and deal with very contemporary issues, such as rape. In The Chicago Way, the reader is confronted with the ugliness of rape. I really appreciated how Harvey took this horrible thing and educated the reader about it, while also retaining all the emotion – it was incredibly done.
In The Fifth Floor, the author takes the reader deep into Chicago history, with the Great Fire of 1871, as well as into Chicago’s local politics. Though the mayor is fictional, the corruption within the local government rings true and is really an eye opener for readers.
The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor are two incredibly written and completely gripping books, and have solidified Michael Harvey as a must-read author. I absolutely love this series; Harvey has written an appealing main character, interesting and informative mysteries, all in a package that is easy to read. I look forward to seeing what Michael Kelly does next in The Third Rail.