Black's kickboxing PI, Ron Shade (Windy City Knights), and Hyzy's TV reporter/sleuth, Alex St. James (Deadly Blessings), both based in Chicago, blend their talents nicely in this first team effort from their creators. Shade is working for an insurance company that paid out $12 million in an accidental death case, but now has reason to believe that the insured is still alive. St. James is working on a story about the homeless that requires going underground equipped with a Taser for protection. Told in roughly alternating chapters, their assignments eventually merge as they separately, then jointly, uncover a massive case of fraud with murder a frequent byproduct. The bad guys, as deadly as they are, are pretty easy to identify, but the way the physically tough Shade and the gutsy St. James deal with them shows the protagonists to be a well-matched pair. The frisson of mutual attraction between St. James and Shade should make readers hope for future joint endeavors. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A seasoned Chicago private eye and an upcoming news reporter combine their talents to solve an unsavory crime.
Private eye Ron Shade, World Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion, has been hired by an insurance company, out big bucks on what may be a phony claim, when one of their agents spots a man in Vegas who looks suspiciously like the Bob Bayless that reportedly died in a fiery car crash. Reporter Alex St. James is looking for her birth parents, but lawyer Larry Farnsworth, an old family friend, is more interested in setting her up with his creepy son Nick, now the successful owner of Sunset Manor Funeral Home. Forced to pose as a homeless person for a story, Alex is rescued from three toughs with evil intentions when Nick, who works with the homeless, arrives just in time with a Russian heavy. Shade meanwhile checks out the Bayless accident scene and finds enough doubts to send him on to the nervous, unsuccessful dentist who provided the X-rays used for identification. Soon after, he's attacked by Russians intent on killing him. Once Alex hires Shade as a bodyguard, they slowly realize that their cases may coincide. As the murders pile up, Shade and Alex wonder if they're marked for death as well.
Black (A Final Judgment, 2006, etc.) and Hyzy (State of the Onion, 2008, etc.) unite their disparate detectives in a fast-paced tale with intriguing twists.
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In Chicago World¿s Heavyweight Kickboxing champion and private investigator Ron Shade accepts an assignment from ¿Big¿ Dick Mackenzie of Midwestern Olympia Insurance company. Dick claims they paid out $12 million to the widow of deceased Robert Bayless and the dead man¿s company when he died in a downstate car accident; however, based on Robert¿s distinctive laugh, Dick insists he is alive in Vegas.
At the same time her boss assigns TV investigative reporter Alex St. James to go undercover amidst the homeless. The case is dangerous so she conceals an illegal Taser. However, her inquiry spins into insurance fraud and murder as Alex¿s investigation ties in with that of Ron.
These two Chicago based mystery series are strong sagas in their own right, but merging them proves a winner as for the most part the two sleuths rotate leads. The subplots are exciting until they merge proving the whole is greater than the sum of the parts even when the parts work quite well as separate subplots. With a hint of an attraction between the two stars, fans will insist Michael A. Black and Julie Hyzy provide more collaborative novels like this one.