... 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.
Chicago journalist Coen links this particular murder to the larger issue of police accountability, and he brings the story up to present-day Chicago police abuse and corruption cases. Fans of true crime and of police procedurals will find much to relish here, but familiarity with Chicago history and geography is vital to appreciating this whole complex story.
In this riveting account, Coen paints a vivid picture of underworld Chicago while detailing one man’s quest to close a cold case ... Along the way, Coen details the history of the mob in Chicago and the corruption within the city’s police department. With this fascinating survey, Coen burnishes his reputation as a top-notch crime writer.