Sean Chercover's debut novel, Big City Bad Blood, is the only book this month that features an honest-to-Pete private eye as the central character. It is the year end, and P.I. Ray Dudgeon has enough money stashed to ride out the holidays. Still, he has wanted a new car for some time, so when a Hollywood studio mogul offers him a job as bodyguard to an embattled employee, Dudgeon agrees to take the assignment. It should be straightforward enough: protect the guy, a prosecution witness against a mob boss, until the trial ends, after which said mobster will go to prison. However, when the other witnesses begin to drop like flies, Dudgeon realizes he may have bitten off a bit more than he can chew. Good pacing, tight storyline, a likable protagonist just aching for a sequel Chercover is well worth watching (and reading).


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