Madman on a Drum (Rushmore McKenzie Series #5)

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Overview

Homicide cop Bobby Dunston's daughter has been kidnapped, taken in broad daylight on a city street in the middle of September. The kidnappers demand a million dollars and force Dunston to get the ransom from his friend McKenzie. It soon becomes apparent to the two of them that one of the kidnappers is childhood pal Scottie, a once aspiring drummer now gone astray, and that the kidnapping is payback for "crimes" committed in their past.

McKenzie, former cop and now unlicensed ...

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Overview

Homicide cop Bobby Dunston's daughter has been kidnapped, taken in broad daylight on a city street in the middle of September. The kidnappers demand a million dollars and force Dunston to get the ransom from his friend McKenzie. It soon becomes apparent to the two of them that one of the kidnappers is childhood pal Scottie, a once aspiring drummer now gone astray, and that the kidnapping is payback for "crimes" committed in their past.

McKenzie, former cop and now unlicensed P.I., handles the ransom drop-off and the child is returned safely. But Scottie is found dead - brutally murdered - and someone has taken out an open contract on McKenzie, using his own money to pay for it. Dodging attempts on his life from assassins of all shapes and sizes, McKenzie now has precious little time to uncover the mastermind behind it all if he's going to survive.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Housewright's unapologetically flawed hero charms, while the clean plot lines, palpable Minnesota winter, and understated humor make this a good, satisfying read."

Publishers Weekly on Pretty Girl Gone

“Housewright is terrific—funny, wry, and dead-on—which, along with some unexpected plot twists, gives this the sort of appeal that will have readers asking for the next book as well as ones that can fill in Mac’s history."

Booklist on Dead Boyfriends

"It's got twists and double-crosses, exciting car chases and gun battles, leavened by plenty of laughs—a noirish novel with emphasis on the ish."

The Boston Globe on Tin City

“It's clear [Housewright] is a Minnesotan in his bones, so his depiction of everything from beekeeping to the byways of Hilltop embeds us in a location where quiet indiscretions and desires highlight daily life... amiable and appealing…”

— Washington Post on Tin City

“An amiable throwback to Marlowe/Archer. Housewright has a keeper in McKenzie —tough, smart, and sufficiently flawed to be entirely likable.”—Kirkus Reviews on A Hard Ticket Home

Publishers Weekly

Hate, revenge and old-fashioned greed propel Edgar-winner Housewright's stellar fifth mystery to feature former St. Paul, Minn., cop Rushmore McKenzie (after 2007's Dead Boyfriends). When the older grade school-age daughter of McKenzie's old friend, St. Paul homicide chief Bobby Dunston, is kidnapped on her way home from school, the unlicensed PI gets on the case. Soon McKenzie is hurtling headlong through the Twin Cities' meanest streets with a $50,000 price on his head. Housewright's chivalric noir hero never fails to charm, whether mourning a St. Paul that's lost much of its colorful, if shady, past or busting a bestial dogfight entrepreneur out in the chilly countryside. Against a realistic Minnesota backdrop, this homage to Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer raises cutting questions about crime and punishment and today's price of friendship and loyalty. Of course, McKenzie knows it's all about money, but Housewright makes it so fresh and real it hurts. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

David Housewright

David Housewright has worked as a journalist covering both crime and sports (sometimes simultaneously), and advertising copywriter and creative director, and a writing instructor. He won the Edgar Award for his first novel, Penance, in 1996, the Minnesota Book Award for his second, Practice to Deceive, in 1998, and Tin City, the second McKenzie novel, was nominated for the same prize. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is a strong entry in a powerful series.

    In St. Paul, Minnesota sixth grader Victoria and fourth grader Katie Dunston were walking home from St. Mark¿s Elementary School when a man in white coveralls and a black ski mask abducts the older sister. Their father Bobby, the city¿s homicide chief, asks his long time friend former cop Rushmore McKenzie to help rescue his daughter although the detective knows his buddy lacks a sleuthing license.-------------------- The kidnapper demands Mac deliver the ransom, which he is willing to do. Mac begins racing through St. Paul following tips while someone places a $50,000 bounty on him. Soon Mac and Bobby begin to realize who the abductor is and why this snatch is personal. The knowledge brings fear to both men not for themselves, but for what their former childhood buddy might be capable of doing to this preadolescent girl out of an obsession to avenge what he believes was a betrayal of their friendship.---------------- This is an exciting Twin City Noir that never slows down from the opening abduction to the final confrontation. Part of the fascination with this strong series (see DEAD BOYFRIENDS).is Mac makes mistakes that can prove costly as he does in MADMAN ON A DRUM. Although action-packed, the tale also focuses on loyalty between friends as Bobby was doing his job when the betrayal occurred (though not quite as potentially dangerous and it was a law enforcement matter, but think in terms of the heroic parents who turned in their son recently because they feared a Columbine). This is a strong entry in a powerful series.--------------- Harriet Klausner

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