“The best way I can describe the Four Corners neighborhood of Chicago is find a length of rebar, scratch a big cross into the concrete, set your feet solid in the quadrant you like best, lean back, and start shooting.”
Officer Bobby Vargas is hard-edged but idealistic, a Chicago cop who stands at the epicenter of a subterranean plot that will have horrific ramifications for both himself and the entire city. Twenty-five years earlier, a gruesome murder rocked the unforgiving streets of Four Corners. Now, suddenly, a dying Chicago paper is running a serial exposé on new evidence in that old case, threatening to implicate Bobby and his older brother, Ruben - a decorated, high-ranking detective and cop- prince of the streets. The smear campaign stirs up decades-old bad blood, leading the Vargas brothers down an increasingly twisted and terrifying path, where the sins of the past threaten to destroy what remains of the truth.
As readers and critics discovered in his first novel, Calumet City, Charlie Newton’s Chicago is a landscape as brutal and poignant as any in modern crime fiction - a multi-faceted, shockingly violent labyrinth of gangland politics, political backstabbing, corporate malfeasance, and, possibly, hope. Start Shooting is a riveting read.
The Korean mafia. Female Japanese assassins. Corrupt Chicago cops. Biological weapons. Mexican street gangs. Lots of Tennessee Williams; and even cameos by Rene Zellweger and Jude Law (no kidding). This novel has it all, but not in a good way. It’s as if the author had ideas for two or three books and decided to cram them all into one sprawling plot. It all requires much exposition posing as dry dialogue. By the time the story reaches its violent crescendo, you’ve stopped caring.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I thought the book was "tedious. Most books I can't wait to get back to it. This one, I couldn't wait for it to be over. I just wanted to get to the end. The things that continually happened to Brennan were a little unbelievable. Average at best.
Would you try another book from Charlie Newton and/or the narrators?
What could Charlie Newton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Stop repeating the same discussions over and over again. Move the story along. The characters repeated the same dialogue over and over, it got tiring. Characters weren't believable after that.