PositiveThe Chicago Tribune... an exciting book which takes us compellingly back in time and into some of darkest corners of Chicago ... It is a book with many good guys, most of them cops, and many bad guys, a few of them cops too, abetted by crooked judges, politicians exercising clout, mobsters and their families, and many other nefarious types who have long operated in the sordid shadows of the city ... The cast of characters is vividly captured. You will remember many of them and not like more than a few. Coen is not a flashy writer and that’s a benefit for this story and for readers. He is a forceful writer and a master at structure and detail. On one level, this story must have presented him with an organizational nightmare, a dusty decades-old tale filled with dozens of twists and turns.
RaveChicago TribuneIt is, simply put, the best book ever written about the fire, a work of deep scholarship by Carl Smith that reads with the forceful narrative of a fine novel. It puts the fire and its aftermath in historical, political and social context. It’s a revelatory pleasure to read.
RaveThe Chicago TribuneTurow makes the most complicated legal matters understandable and even exciting ... His latest sure-to-be-a-bestseller-and-likely-to-be-a-movie-too novel ... One of the admirable aspects of Turow’s work is that he is no showoff. As literate and smart as anyone in the writing biz, he is not given to fancy literary flourishes but rather devotes his considerable gifts to deep insights about the failings of the flesh ... Turow writes like a dream. Obviously having digested piles of information about drug research, data manipulation and insider trading, his courtroom becomes stage for compelling explanations of rules of evidence, the nuances of hearsay and how to conduct effective cross-examination ... These people come to colorful life and though the trial is center stage, it will be Turow’s characters who linger in the mind.
RaveChicago TribuneKaren Abbott brings George Remus to life ... Abbott compellingly details his life and times, rise and fall, delusions, paranoia and, frankly, his genius. Though he is firmly the book’s star, there are others to grab your attention ... It is a raucous and captivating story told with great style, the result of Abbott’s way with words, tireless research and unique subject. Its courtroom sections, using trial transcripts, are better than most any Law & Order hour.
Max Allan Collins and A. Brad Schwartz
PositiveThe Chicago TribuneIt is more than a bit dispiriting to start reading a book that begins with an introduction trashing previous attempts to tell the story it is about to present.
But that is precisely what Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago does ... What I did not expect was to enjoy and admire this book as much as I did ... I took the book at face value and was rewarded with many things I had not known as well as with a narrative that reads with force and style ... All will appreciate the compelling way in which it is told ... [but] Their taking shots at other writers smacks of an insecurity that is both unnecessary and unseemly ... This is a very good book. But one with a very bad/sad introduction.
RaveThe Chicago TribuneThat Mamet is able to bring to vivid life this often-mined era and place is credit not only to his skill with words, but to his agile mind’s ability to enliven even seemingly familiar stories ... Mamet’s Chicago is a harsh and unforgiving place but captured with knowing affection and peopled by a colorful cast, from cops to illegal nightclub owners and their wives and mistresses, safecrackers, crooks, mobsters and hookers ... There are no heroes here. Everyone is flawed. But there are real people here, so real as to be unforgettable and thus fully deserving of that spot on your Chicago bookshelf.
RaveThe Chicago Tribune[Cohen] does a masterful job of using his long-ago, two-weeks-on-the-road sojourn with the Stones to craft a book that provides an energetic and evocative history of the band; exploring the nature and meaning of creativity, celebrity and fame, and the prices paid. He interviewed a vast number of sources, visited places that were important stops on the Stones' raucous journey and offers his own clear-eyed observations. Hundreds of books have been written about this particular band and Cohen seems to have read most of them. His will rank among the very best of the bunch.