The basics: Two years ago, Ray Perry, the governor of Illinois, disappeared from a federal courthouse. Chicago PI Michael Kelly has been hired to find him. He doesn't know who his client is, but he agrees to the job, even if he doesn't agree to receive the $250,000 compensation without more information.
My thoughts: Michael Harvey writes smart, fast-paced mysteries that read like thrillers, and The Governor's Wife is no exception. Once again, Chicago's political corruption is omnipresent, as are Harvey's signature surprises. This case sounds impossible, and yet Kelly pieces together clues relatively quickly. As part of me questioned his success, I was forced to credit Harvey's intentional vagueness--without knowing who hires Kelly, it's impossible to fault the novel for what could be perceived convenience.
I read Harvey's other four Michael Kelly novels in quick succession a few years ago, and it took me a little time to jump back into his world. Harvey includes the sparest of details from earlier novels, so readers who haven't read the first four could jump in here and enjoy the events of this book first.
Favorite passage: "I find that people who think they're not interesting invariably are."
The verdict: The Governor's Wife is a compelling page-turner, but its resolution was somewhat less exciting than its journey. I loved the reading experience, including its social and political commentary and its twists and turns. I expected one more surprise that didn't come, which (unfairly), left me wanting a bit more. I read this novel in a single sitting (thanks for the long nap, Hawthorne!), and I could not put it down.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 258 pages
Publication date: June 2, 2015
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