1946, the first post-World War II year, finds Tribune police reporter Snap Malek hip deep in a murder case. Someone has stabbed his cousin’s British war bride to death in their Bohemian neighborhood home in Pilsen. As the prime suspect, the meek and self-effacing man is jailed, and Malek, convinced of his innocence, begins a dogged hunt for the murderer.
Snap’s rogue investigation takes him into the shadowy blue-collar saloon world of Pilsen, where he encounters a mélange of characters, including cynical and hard-bitten factory workers, a tragic war widow, and a former professional prizefighter–all “bar friends” of the murdered woman. Despite objections from the police, Malek presses on, incurring the anger of one of the bar’s habitués, and fighting for his life in a bare-knuckle slugfest in a Pilsen street.
Determined, Malek hires the city’s best defense attorney, encounters legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and deals with the traumatic emotional distraction of reporting on one of the nation’s worst-ever train wrecks that rocked the western Chicago suburb of Naperville. Finally, when Snap turns his attention back to the murder case, he finds multiple surprises and an unexpected and tragic resolution.
Genre: Mystery (Golden Age)
Price: $12.99 US $15.49 CAN