Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Greed by Dan O'Shea - Book Review

From the publisher: The Second Detective John Lynch Chicago Thriller

A taut US urban thriller by Chicago’s answer to Dennis Lehane. For fans of Lehane, C. J. Box & Jeffery Deaver.

Ex-Marine, Nick Hardin, heads back from a decade in Africa to his hometown, Chicago, with $100 million in blood diamonds stolen from an Al Qaeda’s financing pipeline. His retirement plan? To cash out through a Chicago Mossad contact and head for the beach.

But soon, Hardin’s stuck in Chicago with diamonds he can’t sell and a series of hit men, mobsters, and a Washington off-the-books black ops team on his tail.

The resulting body count leaves Chicago detective John Lynch trying to find connections among the victims, while simultaneously solving the murder of a dead infectious disease expert who’d drafted a biological weapons plan that could turn Chicago into a ghost town.

Greed is Dan O’Shea’s follow up to the fantastic Penance, the first book starring Chicago Police Detective John Lynch (see my review here).  I loved Penance and was really looking forward to Greed.  I was NOT disappointed.  O’Shea did a spectacular job with this sequel, and I highly recommend it.

Where Penance focused on Chicago, and it’s rich history of corrupt politics, Greed works on a bigger scale.  In fact, while Lynch is clearly a part of this book, he is definitely not the focal point, and is only one of many point-of-view characters.  More on that later.  Greed is a boiling cauldron of stuff, including the Mafia, a drug war, a terrorism threat, and a murder investigation.  O’Shea does an amazing job of juggling all these plot lines, never giving any of them less than they deserve, and resolving everyone in an adequate and fair manner.  There is never a dull moment, and even in the quiet times the action speeds along.

The characters are extremely well-drawn.  Lynch is running a close second to Harry Bosch as my favorite fictional detective.  Nick Hardin is an interesting new character, worthy of a story or two of his own.  Corsco, the Mob boss; Hernandez, the Mexican drug lord; and Al-Din, the terrorist hitman; and Munroe, the off-book U.S. agent,  are all engaging and interesting enough to be believable.  The other supporting characters ring with a truth all their own.

While Chicago, and it’s history, was a character in the first book, this time the city proper takes a backseat to the more suburban areas.  This gives the characters and plot a larger area to explore, and changes the dynamic somewhat.  Once again, O’Shea does a great job in painting the scenes and bringing the reader into the cities.

My only complaint, if it can even be called that, is that I would have liked to learn more about Det. Lynch.  He is such a wonderful character and deserves to be the star of many more novels.

With a mixture of espionage, suspense, and good detective work, Greed is an outstanding book.  Dan O’Shea’s novels deserve a wide readership, so put this in the hands of all your friends, particularly the ones who read Michael Connelly.  As for me, I’m anxiously awaiting my next O’Shea fix.

I received a preview copy of this book from Exhibit A Books in exchange for an honest review.

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