Dooley's Back
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Dooley's Back

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by Sam Reaves

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A hard-bitten ex-cop returns to the dark side of Chicago in an edgy novel of suspense.


A hard-bitten ex-cop returns to the dark side of Chicago in an edgy novel of suspense.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The author of the Cooper MacLeish mystery series (Fear Will Do It, etc.) introduces a new hard-boiled hero to the gritty streets of Chicago, but neither alienated ex-copper Frank Dooley nor his adventures matches Reaves's previous efforts. Dooley was still on the force when his wife was murdered; when the law failed him he took his vengeance and fled to Mexico. Eight years later, he returns home to find the case against him stale and his brother, Kevin, a lieutenant. But life for his former partner, Roy Ferguson, has gotten thorny: his seven-year-old son drowned, his marriage fell apart and now he's deep in debt to Johnny Spanos, a hungry loan shark who's pressuring him to steal evidence. Dooley convinces Roy to pull a sting on Spanos, but it goes terribly wrong, and Roy gets killed. Tough-guy Dooley decides to pull a sting of his own to get Spanos to confess on pain of death to Roy's murder. Not only does this strain credibility, it's a bit corny. Like the hero of a spaghetti western, gunslinger Dooley rides back into town to square off against its toughest outlaw. And readers will wonder why the bad guy doesn't simply blow Dooley away: if Spanos defeated his previous foes with ease, why does he have such trouble with Dooley? Reaves has his moments with classic noir fights, both verbal and physical, and even a bit of a romance, but his tale takes too long to get started, and wanders off track too often to be suspenseful. (Oct. 14) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
After the man responsible for the rape and murder of his wife was released on a technicality, Frank Dooley quit the Chicago police force, shot the murderer, and left for Mexico. Eight years later, he is back. Trying to put his homecoming into some perspective, Frank visits his family and old friends but does not feel comfortable until his former partner, Roy Ferguson, offers him a place to stay. He discovers that Roy is thousands of dollars in debt to John Spanos, a bookmaker and bagman who wants to move up in the mob. When Spanos asks Roy to remove from the files evidence of a murder case in which Spanos was involved, Roy confesses to his supervisor. But when Spanos kills Roy, Frank's vengeful side is unleashed. Reaves, author of the Cooper MacLeish mystery series, writes with authority about the policeman's life on the streets and the violent world of organized crime. For most collections of hard-boiled crime fiction.-Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Heights-University Heights P.L., OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Frank Dooley was a Chicago cop, a good one on the fast track, until he committed murder. Not that many of his colleagues blamed him for it. Dooley's adored wife Consuelo had been raped, brutalized, and slaughtered, and the confessed killer had walked on one of those technicalities that make justice a mockery and vigilantism hard to resist. Dooley had stalked, trapped, and shot the perp, simultaneously ending a vicious life and a brilliant career. Though there was no evidence against him and no serious search for any, Dooley resigned from the force he loved and exiled himself to Mexico for eight meaningless years. But now, driven by homesickness, he's back, and almost immediately on the hunt again for the murderer of Roy Ferguson, once Dooley's partner and closest friend. Tricked by a clever, mob-connected hoodlum, he's been gunned down, a homicide apparently as far beyond the reach of conventional law enforcement as Consuelo's. Once again, Dooley feels compelled to take matters into his own hands. Bound by promises to himself and others not to pull the trigger personally, he carefully puts together a sting he hopes will hoist Ray's murderer by his own petard. But it's a dangerous game he's playing, and if he loses, Dooley knows that this time there's no coming back. Canny noirist Reaves (Get What's Coming, 1995, etc.) keeps the action lean and mean until that far-fetched, impossibly elaborate sting turns it soft and fuzzy at the end.

Product Details

Avalon Publishing Group
Publication date:
An Otto Penzler Book Series
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Sam Reaves is the author of the Cooper MacLeish Mystery series, which includes such titles as Fear Will Do It and Bury It Deep. As Dominic Martell, he also wrote the noir thriller Lying Crying Dying. He lives in Evanston, IL.

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Dooley's Back 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dooley is a former Chicago cop who quit the force and left for Mexico the day he killed the guy who murdered his wife. On the day of his return, he fatally changes the plans of a would-be rapist. I like Dooley, regardless of his temper. He's tough but he's flawed. Reaves knows Chicago, its cops and its neighborhoods. The plot moves with the speed of a falling body and wraps up with a classic confrontation. Let's hope Dooley returns and soon.