The sizzling follow-up to The Chicago Way opens with a murder in the contemporary Chicago and winds its way back to Mrs. O'Leary's cow and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Private investigator Michael Kelly is back in another page-turner that revives a tantalizing mystery buried in Chicago's past.
When Kelly is hired by an old girlfriend to tail her abusive husband, he expects trouble of a domestic rather than a historical nature. Life, however, is not so simple. The trail leads Kelly to an old house on Chicago's North Side. Inside it, he finds a body, and perhaps the answer to one of Chicago's most enduring mysteries: who started the Great Chicago Fire and why. The ensuing investigation takes Kelly to places he'd rather not go: specifically, City Hall's fabled fifth floor, where the mayor is feeling the heat. Kelly becomes embroiled in a scam that stretches from current politics back to the night Chicago burned to the ground. Along the way, Kelly finds himself framed for murder, before finally facing a killer bent on rewriting history.
The Fifth Floor is fast-stepping, intricately woven suspense, rich with the lore and atmosphere of a great city. A marvelous successor to Harvey's critically acclaimed debut.
Praise for The Fifth Floor
“In The Fifth Floor, Michael Harvey gives us a tale of murder, bare-knuckle mayoral politics, and historical catastrophe–in short, the perfect Chicago detective story, complete with a loving tour of the city’s funkier locales that’ll make any displaced Chicagoan long for home.”
—Erik Larson, author of The Devil In the White City
“Michael Harvey is a magnificent new voice.”
“Impressive…. A tangled, fascinating tale.”
“A nifty retro-noir series.”
—The New York Times Book Review
Michael Harvey has finally done for Chicago what Raymond Chandler did for Los Angeles and Dashiell Hammett for San Francisco. His new mystery, "The Fifth Floor" is dazzlingly good, historically stimulating and a riveting look at the politics emanating from the mayor's office on Chicago City Hall's infamous fifth floor. The prose teases and tantalizes, and the dialogue is
—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Another sophisticated caper. . . Harvey brilliantly brings all the threads together and provides a satisfying conclusion.”
“Harvey’s superb second thriller . . . Harvey’s plot twists in all the right places, and his noir-inspired dialogue crackles without sounding showy. Marlowe and Spade would readily welcome Michael Kelly into their fold.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“PI Michael Kelly digs into the history of the Great Chicago Fire for his second case in what’s shaping up as a strong series. . . . Dry wit, delectable clues and tricky leads hallmark this trenchant tale of the Windy City.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
THE FIFTH FLOOR is a novel about the worst and the best of the human condition -- power, greed, corruption and hate; loyalty, sacrifice, courage and love. Vivid writing, snappy dialogue and fast-paced drama, along with the mystery and intrigue of Chicago and its legendary fire, make THE FIFTH FLOOR an end-of-summer sizzler.
"First-rate... like Chicago itself, The Fifth Floor is edgy but intoxicating, and Harvey seems ready to join Sara Paretsky at the top of the city's crime-fiction A-list."
—Booklist (Starred Review)