Sunday, March 23, 2008


J.A. Konrath
ISBN 9781401302795
Hardback, 292 pages, $23.95
Genre: Mystery

Homicide Lieutenant Jack Daniels has plenty on her mind. Her boyfriend just proposed; her partner’s been transferred, at his request, to Robbery; and she finds a letter from her mother telling her that her dad isn’t dead after all. To make matters worse, a psychopath who calls himself the Chemist is going around Chicago poisoning food supplies and people are dropping like flies. Jack’s tagged to lead the task force and ultimately becomes targeted by the Chemist. She manages to survive several attempts on her life, but when her boyfriend is poisoned, things turn personal. The Chemist demands two million dollars in ransom to stop the killings and chooses Jack to deliver the money. Jack would rather shoot the guy and put him out of everyone’s misery, but the mayor and his political officialdom believe that if they pay the ransom, the Chemist will go away. Jack doesn’t stop tracking the Chemist; she thinks he has a bigger scheme in mind and practically stumbles over his next fatal project, one that could possibly kill thousands of people.

Dirty Martini, the fourth in Konrath’s Jack Daniels’ series, is packed with action, suspense, and thrills. Jack Daniels is a die-hard toughie who faces death and injury with stoicism and a cop’s sense of duty to protect others above all else. The Chemist is not only insane but intelligent, which makes for an even creepier yet interesting bad guy. Dialogue, as always, is witty and adds levity to a horrifically realistic plot.

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