Schmuck Makes Good

I have an interesting history with the writing of Sean Chercover.

At my very first Bouchercon in Toronto in 2004, John Rickards and I started our annual tradition of slowly browsing the freebie table and mercilessly mocking the morons who pimp their wares in the lamest and unintentionally hilarious manners. The highlight of that first year though was an ad that proclaimed LIMITED TIME OFFER with lots of exlamation points (the sure sign of a professional) and an offer anyone would surely take. He offered a fresh copy of his manuscript to the first 500 agents to respond to the ad. No risk guarantee.


We laughed over this for many weeks to come until we found out that the guy who wrote it was actually a pretty decent (if not incredibly naive) guy who wrote it as a joke. How was he to know that thousands of writer before him had tried that same trick, only for real, so his irony an humor was unfortunately lost.

But, it worked. He got an agent. He sold a book. The book is in stores.

And it’s amazing.

I was finally able to read BIG CITY BAD BLOOD this weekend and it’s probably one of the best PI novels I’ve read in quite some time. And I’m amazed at how traditional it is. He sticks with most of the tried and true standards of the form without meddling in all of the post modern tricks I tend to wallow in. And best of all, there’s no psycho sidekick. He comes kind of close in the end with a character called Gravedigger, but for the most part the books lead does all of his own dirty work. Sometimes it bothers him and he’s conflicted about it, other times he’s just fine with murdering someone who deserves it.

Go out, read it, and buy several copies for your penny-pinching friends.