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Chi-Town Blues


Worth reading 😎

Compelling and engaging story filled with twists and turns, perfect for fans of noir.

Chi-Town Blues: Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem in the Second City read like a wonderful tribute to noir. One expects Philip Marlowe to saunter into the narrative at every turn. Herda has really captured the mood and tone of the genre and the book's voice helps to elevate the different plot strands. Herda has also stuffed the book to the brim with the characters people come to expect from a noir - hardened investigators, criminals, and Femme Fatales all make appearances. Yet Herda plays with these stereotypes throughout, and I enjoyed viewing his interpretations. They help make Chi-Town Blues feel fresh.

The characters themselves were also wonderfully written. They all had their own distinct voice and personality. Joseph, in particular, was a real stand out for me. He is such an unlikeable but compelling character that I couldn't help but read on. I truly wanted to know what would happen to him. This also made him a great introduction to the world Herda has created: the reader is instantly thrown into this narrative of criminality and double-crossing that they're immediately hooked. My only slight criticism is how Joseph's paranoia is handled. Due to his criminal behaviour, he suspects everyone around him. I noticed, particularly at the beginning, this was a little repetitive - I understand its inclusion in the narrative but sometimes it felt like it was slowing the plot down. The word choice didn't really change either, which probably emphasised the repetitiveness even more.   

Overall, I really enjoyed Chi-Town Blues and found it a very engaging, fun nod to noir. Fans of Marc Behm, or even classic film noirs, will find a lot to like. Herda has certainly captured the spirit of the genre whilst adding his own little spin. A compelling, entertaining read full of twists and turns to keep the readers guessing.

Reviewed by

Lou has been blogging on Random Book Reviews Web for nearly 3 years, reviewing a mixture of books from historical fiction to romance to non-fiction. When not reading she can be found at her local cinema, theatre or in her kitchen attempting to bake.

Double Jeopardy

About the author

Born and raised in Chicago, Herda taught Creative Writing Workshop at several Windy City colleges and worked for years as a columnist at The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, and other regional and national publications. He is a conventionally published 90-book author, book doctor, and editor, view profile

Published on September 01, 2020

Published by Elektra Press

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Mystery & Crime

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