Young Kentucky-born Tommy McClain is wounded in Iraq.† The stomach wound is serious enough
to end his military career and send him stateside to begin his civilian life.† Tommy hasnít
planned for living in a normal society, so he moves to Chicago where he can room with his old
high school buddy, Brian, while he searches for his vocation and his future.† It seems that the
only sort of employment Tommy can find is janitorial work, and he soon lines up two part-time
jobs with a meager income and little challenge.† Itís not much of an existence, but Tommy
figures he can squeak by until he decides what to do with his life. And then Brian introduces
Tommy to a couple of nice local girls.
Lisa, one of the girls, tells Tommy that sheís being stalked, so Tommy decides to make sure
that the young lady isnít bothered or possibly attacked by her secret admirer.† Tommy discovers
that the†stalker is a bar owner, so he goes to the tavern to confront the man and hopefully
scare him off.† The situation quickly deteriorates and Tommy winds up killing the man.† Tommy
knows that he would likely have to face murder charges so he erases all evidence of his visit
and simply fades into the background.
It turns out that the man that Tommy killed is actually Joe Salerno, a mob guy, the son of a
powerful gangster. Soon rival gang membersí bodies begin showing up at the morgue, and it looks
like a major mob war is about to break out in the streets of Chicago. And then the brother of
Joe Salernoís bartender becomes a suspect in the killing.† The whole affair has turned into a
giant mess with the potential for wholesale slaughter of people who had nothing to do with the
original incident.† Tommy feels responsible and tries to straighten everything out.† In the
meantime, two police departments and the FBI have become involved and are targeting Tommy as
the key to the mystery.
This is really my kind of book, and author Sam Reaves has woven an amazingly tangled web.†
For all of its twists and turns, the story never becomes confusing and seems to be headed in a
clear direction... until Reaves throws another angle into the mix.† Tommy, the main character,
is the classic anti-hero.† Heís definitely not an angel, but he has values and keeps the greater
good in focus at all times. The story is dark and noir.† If it was a movie, it would be in black
and white. I love the blend of terror and humor in this book.† Itís a very good read.