By Charlie Newton
(Touchstone, Paperback, 9781416533221, 400pp.)
Publication Date: March 4, 2008
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Among the most self-assured and sharply crafted debuts in recent years, Calumet City detonates a Molotov cocktail of character-driven suspense and ghetto-Chicago intrigue.
Meet Patti Black, the most decorated cop in Chicago. On her ghetto beat, Patti Black redefines the word badass. But her steel-plated exterior -- solitary, stoic, loveless -- belies the wrenching legacy of her orphan childhood. Haunted by the horrifying abuse she suffered at the hands of her foster parents, Patti Black sublimates past torments into a meticulously maintained tough-gal persona.
When a series of unrelated cases -- a drug bust gone bad, a mayoral assassination attempt, the murder of a state attorney, the exhumation of a long-concealed body from a tenement basement wall -- all point in Patti Black's direction, she finds herself facing the dark truth: You can't hide from your history, no matter how far into the fog you run. For Patti Black, that history didn't die in the tenement wall; it's alive -- and riding her down.
In researching this electrifying thriller, Charlie Newton rode in the squad car with real-life street cop Patti Black. The result is a powerful fiction debut that captures the precise emotional landscape of one cop's hard-bitten life in the trenches. This first-time author joins that rare breed whose fiction is suffused with profound authenticity
Charlie Newton was born in Chicago; he currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa. This is his first novel. For more information visit www.charlienewton.com.