Killer on Argyle Street: A Chicago Mystery Featuring Paul Whelan

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9780312135324: Killer on Argyle Street: A Chicago Mystery Featuring Paul Whelan

Private Investigator Paul Whelan scours Chicago's gritty Uptown neighborhood--home to immigrants, runaways, and dope-dealers--in search of a missing orphan, whose name has a mysterious power to silence possible witnesses and the police themselves.

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From Publishers Weekly:

After three stellar books (most recently, The Maxwell Street Blues), the grungy charms of shamus Paul Whelan and his domain, the equally unslick Uptown region of Chicago, are dulled by dragged-out pacing in this fourth effort. A prologue describes a murder near the lake, committed by a sinister man with a talent for disguise. The action then cuts to Whelan taking on the case of a missing teenage boy in the Vietnamese section of the city. It turns out that the missing kid was employed by the man killed in the prologue, as were several other criminal types, all also dead. As the hunt for the boy quickly segues into a hunt for the killer, Raleigh details Whelan's diet of dirt-cheap food, booze and coffee, his bad luck with babes and his dealings with pals and clients-who tend to come from the lower social strata. But the narrative wheels spin too long in nameless bars and diners before finding traction in the relationship between the current case and some figures from Whelan's past. Although not up to the high standard of previous titles, the vividness of Raleigh's Chicago and Chicagoans still raises this entry above average.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Raleigh's Paul Whelan series brings to mind the late Ross McDonald's Lew Archer novels. McDonald had a subtle feel for his Southern California setting that is similar to the sensitivity Raleigh brings to Whelan's Chicago. In his fourth case, Whelan is hired to find a missing teenager by an elderly woman who let him live in her house after his parents died. Tony Blanchard stayed with Mrs. Pritchett for about six months and then took to the streets when he started hanging out with the wrong crowd. Now some of the petty thieves Tony took up with have been murdered, and she fears for his life. The case takes Whelan into the streets where he finds himself in the middle of an old southern blood feud that puts him at risk but doesn't seem to bring him closer to Tony. This series is a small treasure. It's like finding a tasty little combo that can be enjoyed in a small club for a while but will certainly move on to bigger venues. Read Whelan now; he won't be a secret much longer. Wes Lukowsky

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