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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Former St. Paul policeman Rushmore McKenzie's life philosophy is pretty straightforward: "Live well. Be helpful." So when an old friend asks Mac for a favor involving his dying nine-year old daughter, he instantly agrees -- and soon finds himself in the crosshairs of a gun-running gang, a sadistic murderer, and the FBI.
Stacy Carlson is a little girl with a smile "bright enough to melt snow" who is suffering from leukemia. Her only hope for survival is getting a bone marrow transplant; but the only possible match left is her older sister, Jamie, who ran away after graduating high school and hasn't been heard from since. Stacy's father pleads with Mac to use his detective skills to somehow locate Jamie and bring her home to Grand Rapids before it's too late. Mac accepts and begins his investigation in the Twin Cities, where Jamie's former high school friend Merci Cole is living as a prostitute and petty criminal. The trail, however, quickly leads to a group of powerful entrepreneurs. When machine gun-toting members of an infamous gang try to murder Mac, he realizes he is close to uncovering a mind-boggling conspiracy…
In spite of the somewhat two-dimensional character of Rushmore McKenzie, A Hard Ticket Home boasts nonstop action, masterfully knotty plotlines, and bevy of intriguing peripheral characters (the reluctant prostitute Merci, the oversexed socialite Lila, Mac's law enforcement buddy Bobby Dunston, the wheelchair-bound informant Chopper, et al.). Reminiscent of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe novels -- especially the priceless hard-boiled one-liners -- Housewright's latest will appeal to mystery fans who enjoy their whodunits down and dirty. Paul Goat Allen