In the latest installment in Michael Harvey’s beloved Michael Kelly series, Chicago’s favorite Ovid-reading, gun-toting private investigator takes on Illinois’s first family in a blistering thriller that charts the border where ambition ends and evil begins.
It’s been two years since disgraced Illinois governor Ray Perry disappeared from a federal courthouse in Chicago moments after being sentenced to thirty-seven years in prison on corruption charges. P.I. Michael Kelly is sitting in his office when he gets an anonymous e-mail offering to pay him nearly a quarter of a million dollars if he will find Perry, no questions asked. Kelly’s investigation begins with the woman Ray Perry left behind—his wife, Marie. Ostracized by her former friends and hounded by the feds, Marie tells Kelly she has no idea where her husband is. Like everyone else, Kelly doesn’t believe her. As he hunts for her husband, Kelly begins to unwind Marie Perry’s past. What he finds is a woman who turns out to be even more intriguing than her husband, with her own deeply complicated reasons for standing by him. Everyone in Chicago has secrets, including the governor’s wife. Some of them she shared with her husband. Some of them she kept to herself. And some of them could get Michael Kelly killed.
The Governor’s Wife is a hard-eyed look at the intersection of the political and the personal, at the perils of trusting even those closest to us, and the collateral damage of our highest aspirations. Stylish, knock-out suspense from a modern master.
About the Author
MICHAEL HARVEY is the author of The Chicago Way, The Fifth Floor, The Third Rail, We All Fall Down, and The Innocence Game, as well as a journalist and documentary producer. His work has won numerous national and international awards, including multiple news Emmys, two Primetime Emmy nominations, and an Academy Award nomination. He holds a law degree with honors from Duke University, a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in classical languages from Holy Cross College. He lives, of course, in Chicago.
Read an Excerpt
My laptop is set up so a tiny black box flashes in the corner of the screen every time I get an e-mail. The alerts arrive like an endless parade of crows, pecking away at me with people I don’t want to talk to and problems I’d rather ignore. I don’t know how my Mac got programmed to do this and have no idea how to stop it. So I live with my birds. The one that hired me fluttered in at 2:14 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon. I took one look at the subject line and clicked through to read the rest.
Would like to retain you to find Raymond -Perry. Use any and all means at your disposal to accomplish same. Global search okay. Money, no object. If you are willing to take the job, please hit reply to this message. A $100,000 retainer will be wired into an account set up for you. Another $100,000 will be wired when you locate Mr. -Perry. A separate fund for expenses will also be established and replenished as needed. Details on accounts, etc. will be forwarded upon acceptance of the terms of employment.
I’m sure there’s a manual somewhere that sets out the guidelines for when and how private investigators should take on new cases. Knowing the name of your client would seem to be a necessity. When the proposed retainer hits six figures, however, necessity becomes a somewhat elastic concept, and guidelines tend to get tossed out the window. Be that as it may, the money wasn’t what did it for me. Don’t get me wrong. The cash caught my eye. In fact, there might have been a moment or two of involuntary drool at the prospect of two hundred K sitting in a bank account with my name on it. But the reason I hit reply was not the money. Really. It was the name. Raymond Perry. As I waited for my newest client to get back to me with particulars such as account numbers and wiring instructions, I plugged Perry’s name into Google. I knew the story. Hell, everyone knew the story. Still, it made for good reading. I brewed myself a pot of coffee and caught up on Illinois’s former governor and convicted felon. I started with the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list and Perry’s mug shot residing, as it had been for the past year and a half, in slot number one.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Love all the Michael Kelly books, and Chicago. Great stories and suspense. I just wish they were a little longer.
From the publisher: Chicago’s favorite Ovid-reading, gun-toting private investigator takes on Illinois’ first family in a blistering thriller that charts the border where ambition ends and evil begins. It’s been two years since disgraced Illinois governor Ray Perry disappeared moments after being sentenced to thirty-seven years in prison on corruption charges. P.I. Michael Kelly is sitting in his office when he gets an anonymous e-mail offering him nearly a quarter of a million dollars if he will find Perry, no questions asked. Kelly’s investigation begins with the woman Perry left behind - - his wife, Marie. Ostracized by her former friends and hounded by the feds, Marie tells Kelly has no idea where her husband is. Like everyone else, Kelly doesn’t believe her. As he unwinds Marie Perry’s past, Kelly finds a woman who is even more intriguing than her husband, with her own deeply complicated reasons for standing by him. Everyone in Chicago, including the governor’s wife, has secrets, some of which could get Michael Kelly killed. The mysteries, and the secrets, abound, and the author does a superlative job of laying it all out for the reader, ever more complicated as the tale evolves. And it appears that Kelly isn’t the only man who’s been hired, for good money, by an anonymous “client” to do investigative work with regard to the Perry case. Kelly, an ex-cop, has few if any leads, and he mines his friendship with another cop to try to develop any as he plugs away at the investigation. A particularly fascinating creation is Billy “Bones” McIntyre, the father of the eponymous woman, described by the author as a man whose “hands were thick and strong . . . they reminded me of my father, who beat his children sometimes because he liked the sound.” The identity of the client remains hidden until near the conclusion of the book. No clues will be given here, but it is a stunner. As the author tells us, “at the end of the day, it was all about the money.” As always, the author paints a very evocative portrait of Chicago, a city he knows very well and allows the reader to gain quite a bit of knowledge as to its physical geography as well as the essence of things not always evident to the casual observer. A very enjoyable read, and one which is recommended. I look forward to reading Mr. Harvey’s newest, “Brighton.”
First book I've read by this author and really liked it. It's a quick read.