The Underground Detective

A Novel of Chicago Streets

A crime, cop and serial killer novel set in Chicago.

The Underground Detective

Back Cover Blurb

It's dark underground. How would you catch a serial killer with only your badge, your wits, and a shaky sense of right and wrong? It's 1987, and a world before cellphones and DNA. Former Army Ranger and Vietnam vet, divorced Danny Mangan is a Chicago cop weary from fifteen years on the force. But he can't rest now he's trailing a serial killer with a penchant for attacking African-American prostitutes - a grim world of deception where everyone has a public price and a private fix....

What follows when a member of Danny's own family is hunted by the killer is excruciating. So will Danny's drug-loving daughter Kelly and bisexual partner Lila help or complicate his work? The Underground Detective is a modern fable, absorbing, imaginative and terrifying. Here is polished crime writing, the dark sheen after the rains have cleaned the streets of Chicago. A treat of human foibles, weaknesses, attractions and heartbreak, where only love and family are the saving grace....

Book Description

"Thomas Laird's fiction is addictive. His new crime novel is a roller coaster of action, gritty personalities and fast-paced dialogue, all focused on the seedy details of Chicago street life.

It's 1987, and a world before cellphones and DNA. Former Army Ranger and divorced Vietnam veteran, Danny Mangan is a Chicago cop weary from fifteen years on the force. But he can't rest now he's trailing a serial killer with a penchant for attacking African-American prostitutes--a grim world of deception where everyone has a price and a fix and yet keeps a moral compass, if a little skewed!

The Underground Detective combines meticulous research with character development, charged police protocol, and an explosive pursuit to the redemptive last act. Yet again Laird delivers just what readers want--a grisly crime chase where the seconds tick away and the bodies mount, where the landscape is bleak but the human beings cling to their humanity despite the brutality acted upon them, and where a glint of light shines through the darkness, with the name of Danny Mangan.

It's dark underground. What results when a member of Danny's own family is hunted by the killer is excruciating, nauseating and compelling. But Danny is fortunately embraced by strong females--his daughter Kelly, dancing through her own struggles with bulimia and drugs--and his partner Lila who complicates his life by being bisexual, albeit it energized by her commitment issues. Together they act as Mangan's moral compass when his own idea of justice might wander off course!

The Underground Detective is a spectacular, soaring modern fable. Absorbing, imaginative and terrifying: here is polished crime writing, the dark sheen after the rains have cleaned the streets of Chicago. How would you catch a serial killer with only your badge, your wits, and a pressured sense of right and wrong? A treat of human foibles, weaknesses, attractions and heartbreak--where only love and family are the saving grace."

From the Author

Readings and Book Signings with Thomas Laird (2012)


1) I will be signing copies of The Underground Detective at independent bookstore I Know You Like a Book in Peoria Heights, Illinois from 2-4 pm on Saturday May 12, 2012.

Don't miss the chance to meet Thomas and get a signed copy! I Know You Like a Book is run by Mary Beth Nebel and is located at 4707 N. Prospect Avenue, Peoria Heights, IL 61616 (tele. 309-685-2665 andI Know You Like a Book is on Facebook here).

2) There will be a signing at the Peoria Downtown Public Library on May 19, 2012 (exact time to follow).

3) A third signing will take place at Barnes & Noble in Peoria, Illinois, on May 20, 2012 (exact time to follow). The address is Barnes & Noble, 5001 N. Big Hollow Road, Peoria, Illinois 61615.

Much appreciation for publicizing these events to the International Association of Crime Writers.

Reviews

"In The Underground Detective, Thomas Laird has the right turn of gritty phrase and an authentic feel for his Chicago cops and killers, hookers and addicts. It's a world as fast-moving, as real, as tough and as heartbreaking as the streets his characters walk."

--Michael Malone, author of Handling Sin, Foolscap and First Lady


"The Underground Detective is a suspenseful masterpiece that will leave you hooked until the very end. Follow Detective Mangan as he struggles to come to grips with the terror left in the wake of a sadistic serial killer and races the clock to stop him before he can claim another life."

--Trooper P.L. Green, Virginia State Police


"A gritty thrill ride. Detective Danny Mangan will take you through the darkest aspects of the human psyche, until you'll be left wondering how the human mind can harbor such darkness."

--Officer G. Morrison, National Airport Police Department, Washington, D.C.


5.0 out of 5 stars underground lies the thriller of the year, April 14, 2012 By vincent "rocco 2" (evansville, in) -- This review is for The Underground Detective: A Novel of Chicago Streets (Paperback). The Underground Detective is Thomas Laird's first crime novel in six years, and it proves the wait was worth it. It transcends genre thrillers and detective fiction and heads for pure literary territory. The Underground Detective smacks of Raymond Chandler, James Lee Burke, and Stieg Larrsen. Don't miss it.