Friday, October 15, 2021

A Small Sacrifice by Dana King

Dana King’s first detective Nick Forte novel, A Small Sacrifice, was nominated for a Shamus Award, and boy did it deserve the recognition and praise. It is a ripping good tale.

Former Chicago cop, Nick Forte, takes on the job of clearing the name of a man everyone believes guilty of murdering a child.

State and local police bungled the investigation and could not prove the man strangled his own six-year-old son.

The killing made headlines the previous year when the man found the child’s body in the basement of the family’s huge suburban home.

Now, his mother, a wealthy, obstinate, battle axe, wants to restore the good name of the family. She hires Nick for the task.

Nick hates the case, but money is money.

He tells the mother he cannot promise he will get any further than the police. The woman says she does not want Nick to solve the case, just do enough to change public opinion about her son.

Nick barely begins snooping when someone he wants to interview winds up dead in the trunk of a car. Before he can dwell on the odd possible connection to the case, a hired killer attempts to assassinate Nick on the streets of Chicago. The hitman has mob connections.

Once Nick Forte steps into mob territory, the level of tension in the story goes up tenfold. Mobsters get annoyed when outsiders stick their noses into their carefully concealed illegal businesses.

But what is the connection between the mob and his client's arrogant son, Nick wonders?

Dana King spins a complex tale of crime and corruption in a fast paced story with a just the right amount of humor – usually provided by Nick’s first person comments.

At one point, Nick Forte has to talk face to face with a powerful mob boss. Nick says, “I forced myself to make eye contact. It was like looking down the staircase to hell.”

There are four more novels in King’s Nick Forte series.

For a glimpse at Dana King’s other series, the Penns River police novels, look here and here.

1 comment:

  1. I've only read the one from Dana and he smashed it. I'll have to get him on the top of the stacks for 2022.