The sheer cruelty of the case’s multiple murders demands coarse language, at which Guzlowski excels. But in describing the saintly Sisters of St. Joseph nuns who live near the murder scene as 'tough broads, eyes like razors,' he lets us know that, back in the day, the city of Chicago was an all-around rough town.
James Ellroy fans will appreciate this grim portrayal of the hunt for a serial killer ... Guzlowski’s credible depiction of his cop leads, who believe in administrating their own brand of justice, compensates for the straightforward whodunit plotline.
The author’s strongest asset is his dialogue; whether it’s the cops talking with each other or neighbors and crooks casually chatting, the talk always rings true. Less successful is the plotting, with Purcell’s too-frequent war memories slowing things down. And while the ending might be realistic, it’s one that some readers might find upsetting ... This vivid re-creation of a time and place may not be enough to make Chicago your kind of town.