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Private detective Michael Kelly returns in a lightning-paced, intricately woven mystery. When Kelly is hired by an old girlfriend to tail her abusive husband, he expects trouble of a domestic rather than a historical nature. Life, however, is not so simple. The trail leads to a dead body in an abandoned house on Chicago's North Side and then to places Kelly would rather noPrivate detective Michael Kelly returns in a lightning-paced, intricately woven mystery. When Kelly is hired by an old girlfriend to tail her abusive husband, he expects trouble of a domestic rather than a historical nature. Life, however, is not so simple. The trail leads to a dead body in an abandoned house on Chicago's North Side and then to places Kelly would rather not go: specifically, City Hall's fabled fifth floor, where the mayor is feeling the heat. Kelly becomes embroiled in a scam that stretches from current politics back to the night Chicago burned to the ground. Along the way, he finds himself framed for murder, before finally facing a killer bent on rewriting history....

Title : The Fifth Floor
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307386298
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Fifth Floor Reviews

  • Kate
    2019-02-12 08:55

    Ho hum, just what I was worried about, this one didn't even compare to the first book in the series. Here's why:- There was something really off about the rhythm of the story.- It was more political thriller than gritty noir detective story.- This one was much more showier than the first one and focused more on action, romance and heroism, which I just don't care for that much.- Something was wrong with Michael Kelly he grew a conscience this book and was way too nice, what the heck?However, there were some good parts to this book as well and they included:- Great research on the Chicago Fire (even though fictional liberties were taken to fit the "thriller" part of the story)- I liked Teen, the volunteer at The Historical Society and Hubert the hacker (even though they were minor characters they brought some interesting factors to the story.)Again not exactly what I was expecting after reading and enjoying The Chicago Way. I hope Michael Harvey goes back to the noir detective roots as I will continue to read those kinds of stories, but if he keeps writing thrillers, I'm going to have to put this series down.

  • Tony
    2019-02-01 08:51

    THE FIFTH FLOOR. (2008). Michael Harvey. ***. Reading this novel catches me up with Mr. Harvey’s works. This was his second novel featuring his P.I. Michael Kelly, a Chicago-based ex-cop. This time, Harvey has come up with an historical mystery that Kelly gets involved in, much to his peril. It seems that there is now doubt that the great Chicago fire of 1871 was not caused by Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicking over a lantern, but was deliberately set by two men who planned to destroy the existing city in order to buy up the land cheaply. The evidence, supposedly, was contained in a rare book published a few years after the fire, with clues found only in a specific number of the first edition. Why should this be a cause celebre? Turns out that one of the presumed conspirators was the great-great grandfather of the current mayor of the city. The mayor, whose office is on the fifth floor of the city/county building (hence the title), doesn’t want this information to get out – especially in an election year. It later turns out that cipy number four of the first edition is not important for any information it might contain, but for what might be hidden in its binding – a holograph copy of the Emancipation Proclamation written by Abraham Lincoln. That represents something even more important that family values. Money. This is an interesting plot premise, but, again, plot is not the only thing that carries a novel. Harvey still has not gotten the knack of providing a third dimension to his characters. They still come across as puppets in his mystery drama. This is still a good beach read, or, wherever you might be where you’re not looking for much depth in a book.

  • Toni Osborne
    2019-01-27 08:57

    This is the second novel featuring the wise-cracking Private Investigator Michael Kelly who returns in full force. The heart of the story is based around the mayor's office on the fifth floor of Chicago City Hall.It starts when Michael is contacted by Janet, an ex-girlfriend and is asked to use his P.I. expertise to protect her from her abusive husband, Johnny Woods who happens to be one of the mayor's fixers. While on his trail he discovers a link to a recent murder. During his research he stumbles across a credible theory of the Chicago fire with a connection between the mayor's family and a land grab that set up a political dynasty. Of course revealing this would be scandalous, especially in an election year. The historical angle along with several plot twists made for a very interesting story.Michael a man of action and very meticulous at his profession soon finds himself in the middle of political corruption and targeted by powerful men. He is framed for murder and embroiled in scams he had nothing to do with, plunged into an unfamiliar world where nothing is quite what it seems.I share my thoughts with those saying this is a sizzling follow-up to "The Chicago Way". It is suspenseful and atmospheric, has intricate woven narrative and snappy dialogue and the characters are loveable and gritty. Mr Harvey has written an entertaining thriller with an historical twist. . This is a real page-turner that masterfully delves into the myth behind Mrs O'Leary's cow, the suspected cause of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.Michael is one hero worth rooting for in this fast paced drama.

  • Andre
    2019-01-28 01:47

    The Fifth Floor is the second of Michael Harvey’s novels to feature private investigator Michael Kelly. After enjoying The Chicago Way, the first Michael Kelly novel, so much, I was in a hurry to pick up The Fifth Floor. I was highly disappointed.This story is nowhere near as gritty as its predecessor. Not even close. Instead, Harvey tried to do something different this time around. In my opinion, he tried to do too much. Whereas the grittiness and rawness of The Chicago Way created emotional tension, Harvey tried the opposite approach in The Fifth Floor. This time, the story began with the emotional tension and the author tried to use that tension to great the story’s grit. It did not work.The story begins with Kelly meeting with a physically abused woman in his office. From the very beginning, Kelly’s is drawn in by emotion. He took this case because of his emotions. The plot of the first novel revolved around a case that Kelly took because he was fighting for justice. That element is missing from The Fifth Floor. While it is true that this novel heavily involves Chicago’s corrupt political leadership, the inhabitants of The Fifth Floor of City Hall, Kelly is not looking for justice in his fight with mayor and his cronies. It’s all personal, and it all stems from a relationship that ended fifteen years in the past.I must say that the characters in The Fifth Floor are more interesting and more complex than those in The Chicago Way. There is much more moral ambiguity in this novel. These are good things. But as I said, Harvey attempted to put too much into this story. Not only does it bog down the story, but it also leads to too many secondary plots. There isn’t anything wrong with these plots per se, but they do not fit into the overall story arc very well. For instance, a federal judge who appeared in The Chicago Way played an unnecessarily bigger role this time. This judge could have fulfilled her plot functions in much the same way as in the first novel, but Harvey gave a bigger role in the second. It felt awkward and unnatural in a way that nothing in the first novel did. There was also an added scene whose purpose seems to be nothing more than showing us how tough and fearless Michael Kelly is. After the PI was thrown in jail, he started a fight with his cellmate. I know why, but I don’t know why. These two are examples that show how cluttered The Fifth Floor was. It just doesn’t flow well.Other than what was written above, I had two major issues with The Fifth Floor. The first is a break-in of Kelly’s apartment. It was too much of a contrived coincidence for me that the break-in occurred on the first night a particular woman spent the night with Kelly. The fact that the woman was present becomes a big deal for moving the plot forward. Also, after we learn the identity of the intruder, I wanted to know how this individual knew anything about item that was the motivation for the break-in. The item in question was a secret. Not many people knew about it. The only people who could have told the intruder about said item were the men of The Fifth Floor. Those men had no reason to share what they knew with the intruder. It doesn’t make sense to me, and it is a big negative in terms of my feelings about the novel.The other major issue is that there was a gem of a plot point that Harvey ignored until the epilogue. There were moments that hinted at Kelly thinking about it, but it was never explored. In my mind, it was a more intriguing and potentially more emotional secondary plot than anything involving the federal judge. This would have also created more of the grit and rhythm of The Chicago Way.More than anything else, it was that rhythm that was missing from The Fifth Floor. For now, I’ll chalk it up to a sophomore slump. I hope The Third Rail does not suffer from the same issues.

  • Jim
    2019-02-16 08:45

    This is a tightly-written, well-paced hardboiled mystery set in Chicago. Michael Harvey's protagonist Michael Kelly, tough guy and private eye, deals with a wife-beater, confronts a powerful mayor and his ruthless fixers, and investigates why the mayor might be concerned about his ancestor's role in the Chicago Fire of 1871.As in a lot of good mysteries, the setting is intrinsic to the tone of the story, just as Edinburgh infuses Ian Rankin's Rebus mysteries or Los Angeles shapes the created world of Raymond Chandler's Marlowe. Michael Harvey's protagonist Michael Kelly lives in a world where corruption seems to be part of the air, a world dominated by the mayor's office on the fifth floor of City Hall.Michael Harvey mainly gets Chicago right. As I read this, I could feel the cold April wind off the Lake and started getting a taste for a sloppy Italian beef sandwich. He does Chicago as well as Sara Paretsky (but without the annoying tone of sociopolitical righteousness that Paretsky sometimes displays). The power-players in Harvey's Chicago are unsavory, perhaps evil, but his detective doesn't spend a lot of time moralizing. Michael Kelly treats them as one would sharks, like dangerous predators, part of the local ecology.This is a good example of Chicago noir. It's punchy and taut, with the right amount of cynicism. It goes down like a cold Old Style.

  • Jeffrey
    2019-02-02 07:07

    Michael Kelly, the private eye returns in this light breezy mystery set in Chicago. Kelly is approached by an old flame who is taking a regular beating from her husband. She doesnt want Kelly involved but Kelly follows her husband around and stumbles upon a mureder at a historic house. The only item missing is a copy of a rare book about the history of the Chicago Fire. It seems that two groups are after a copy of the book which supposedly has a secret letter that shows how the current Mayor's relative really set the fire as a way to get land. Is it a red herring? The book is full of other non starters and the mystery keeps evolving, but there are some good leads, another murder to sort out, bare knuckle politics from the Mayor and his fixers and some good old fashioned detective work to satisfy any fan. The chapters are light, the reading is easy and the book goes down like a cheap beer at one of the dives that the main character visits, but the ending like the last book's ending has a couple of interesting developments. Good fast read

  • Douglas Karlson
    2019-02-15 03:44

    Ugh. I just wrote my review and then my computer crashed... here goes again. I'd give it 4.5 stars. This is a very well written mystery. It's set in Chicago, and the author describes the city and the characters in a fresh and creative way, avoiding the cliches you often get with hard-boiled fiction- which I find so tiresome. This one rings true - I especially liked the way he describes the inner political workings of the Mayor's office - everything has a price, and we follow along as the detective negotiates a grand bargain to resolve this complex plot in which multiple threads are woven very well (sometimes by coincidence - but it works) and the characters are well drawn, with compelling back-stories. It moves along at a very fast clip... you'll devour the book in two or three days easily... Also of interest - the great fire of Chicago, which plays a part in the plot- what a firestorm... and it's still burning in this page-turner!

  • Jen
    2019-01-31 09:48

    This is the second book in the series with Chicago private-eye Michael Kelley. Again, I love the attention paid to the Chicago locales. I also loved that the mystery in the book has an angle related to Chicago history, specifically the Great Fire of 1871. But the unfolding of the mystery itself was kind of lame. Harvey has his P.I. narrator refer obliquely to some things he's thinking about and asking people to do in order to keep things "mysterious" to the reader up until the big revelations. That seems kind of lazy. Also, it was hard to believe that a police dept. and the Feds were going to wait patiently outside with their arrest and seizure warrants, while they allowed a P.I. to confront the perpetrator in his office for an "I've nailed you" moment. Such are the pitfalls an author should be aware of when mixing "neo" with "noir".

  • Larry
    2019-02-21 03:53

    Rereading the second (of five) Michael Kelly p. i. novels I bumped it from four stars to five. It involves murders rooted in earlier murders, the Chicago Fire. (Kelly's discoveries about the fire, seen a based in insurance and real estate fraud, is historically well grounded, as a trip to the Chicago Historical Society will show.) The five Michael Kelly books (so far) are aces, both for their strong eviction of Chicago and for the sheer quality of Harvey's writing and plotting.

  • Trish
    2019-02-08 03:59

    I really like Michael Harvey's style: noirish and old-fashioned and set in Chicago. Nothing too gruesome, and certainly no detailed forensic discussions--just trench-coated, slouch-hatted, cigar-wielding (one imagines) shoe-leather mysteries. The only possible criticism I can conceive may just be it's best side as well. It doesn't feel exactly urgent.

  • Leigh
    2019-02-14 09:02

    This author evidently lives in my neighborhood in Chicago, and eats and drinks in familiar joints, which makes the shenanigans of his detective only that much more enjoyable. I especially liked this one because the villain turned out to be a curator at the Chicago History Museum!

  • Brett Wallach
    2019-01-29 05:54

    Gets docked a star for the utter creepiness of the heroic protagonist having the same name as the author. Yuck. Docked one star for the paper thin and convoluted plot. And docked one more star for the sense of phony toughness throughout from this academic egghead. Started off good though...

  • Mike
    2019-01-27 07:05

    An OK murder/political mystery set in modern Chicago with ties to the 1871 Chicago fire. Bogs down in the middle, but picks up speed toward the end. A pleasant three day read.

  • James
    2019-02-08 10:07

    another fantastic Chicago crime novel from Michael Harvey... took me a while to find this one, but it is just as good as the other books in the series... Kelly is a superb protagonist/antagonist, and the writing is crisp, concise, and brutal at times... much like the violence and passion that comes from nowhere and then recedes nearly as easily... Harvey has a style all his own, and it grabs you right off, and then his ability to craft a tale is superb... read this guy...

  • Chad Malkamaki
    2019-02-08 04:04

    For someone that is a very good writer, the crime committed was a stretch. I know I'm sensitive because I work at an urban historical society and I've been to the Chicago History Museum, but Harvey flat out fails during that portion of the book. Not realistic, cliched, and very unlikely jump to associations with the Aryan Brotherhood. Also a major museum would not elevate a volunteer to director with a click of their fingers.

  • Don Osterhaus
    2019-01-30 02:08

    A nice bit of contemporary Chicago noir. I particularly enjoyed the Chicago setting and the depiction of City Hall politics. This was my first novel by Michael Harvey. I'll probably back up and read "The Chicago Way".

  • Mike Shoop
    2019-01-26 01:53

    Atmospheric crime mystery set in contemporary Chicago involving a murder, a wife beater, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and the Mayor's Office (which is on City Hall's fifth floor). P.I. Michael Kelly, the main character, is a man obsessed with solving the murder and taking out his former lover's abusive husband, and is especially intrigued when both things lead him to City Hall. Harvey's book is a dark thriller, almost has a 1940s feel to it, with good details of Chicago, with its history and political chicanery, and an investigation that leads the detective to exiled reporters, bars, and historical societies to ferret out the truth. A good, fast pace, moody feel, interesting setting. Part of a series, but it worked fine for me as a standalone.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-22 05:48

    Really enjoyed this hard boiled detective novel.

  • Janet
    2019-01-27 08:11

    Good second book in a series. Has echoes of the noir mystery style of Raymond Chandler while still maintaining a unique voice. On to the next one!

  • Marcus
    2019-02-12 07:56

    good ole chicago style noir detective novel, full of unique Chicago locales and dark secrets.

  • Jim Jackson
    2019-02-14 02:01

    First of four Michael Harvey books recently purchased from Powell's. This guy writes a lot like Denny Lehane. Good book. Fast read.

  • Janet Smith
    2019-02-12 06:12

    Boring abandoned after 30%

  • Mary Martin
    2019-02-13 02:01

    PI Michael Kelly is hired by Janet Woods to help her get out of her abusive marriage. John Woods works for the mayor & is his take care guy. While following Woods, Kelly discovers a murder. The murder seems connected to the historic fire in Chicago of 1871. Lots of layers to uncover for Kelly but of course the talented PI can sort it all out.

  • Johnny
    2019-02-05 02:01

    This is a delightful series of books for someone like me to read because of its setting in the Chicago area. The first volume, The Chicago Way, was a fascinating study of crooked cops (and district attorneys), good cops, and warped personalities (both the serial killer reaching his tentacles out from death row and the sick individual wreaking revenge in a skewed way). The Fifth Floor is a study in corrupt politicians and those with integrity. I resented the fact that the powerful Daleyesque mayor shared my last name, but the resolution of the situation wasn’t what I was expecting. Some of the rest of the novel was exactly what I expected. So far, with the two I’ve read, Michael Harvey’s novels walk a delicate line between the gritty realism of human cruelty and the serendipitous intermingling of convenient plot hooks. It makes for terrific storytelling, but it jars one out of one’s “suspended disbelief” on occasion. The Fifth Floor braids together a historical mystery, hardball politics, murder, spousal abuse, adultery, journalistic integrity, and grand larceny (perhaps, more than one example) into one strong rope of a story (although the rope may well be more akin to a noose). The braids are tightly knit together as an agreement to simply talk to a “fixer” on the mayor’s staff turns into a brush with murder, conspiracy, and being framed for a crime.I couldn’t believe the way certain police detectives acted in this book until Harvey revealed their motives. Suddenly, it was plausible. I couldn’t believe how cold the protagonist was toward another character until Harvey revealed why that was necessary and showed us the true motivation of the character. I was so disappointed when a special relationship, begun in the first novel, came unglued. I liked the idealism in the “good” politician and wished that there were more like him. And even the mayor, Mayor Wilson (kind of has a nice ring), had layers of complexity to his persona that I didn’t expect. He definitely wasn’t who I thought he was and yet, he was real enough to be plausible. I can’t talk a lot about this mystery without causing the entire rope to unravel. Anyone who isn’t comfortable with ambiguity or can’t deal with a certain amount of cognitive dissonance shouldn’t read this book; it will disturb such a person. On the other hand, the idea that ignoring the letter of the law in order to obtain a certain degree of justice is a recurring theme that makes this story worthwhile to me. It seems like Harvey loves to tell stories of “losers” and “victims.” Yet, his books never quite destroy hope; they just allow it to filter in very slowly. As in real life, some people change and some people never will. Kelly, a stubborn Irishman with a penchant for the Greek and Latin classics, is the kind of person who doesn’t expect too much but offers a tremendous amount. To misuse the quotation with which he introduced the major plot line in this novel, I think I’d hate and love this guy.

  • Debbi Mack
    2019-02-02 08:52

    No question about it Michael Harvey writes with edgy, wry style. THE FIFTH FLOOR is a well-paced story, delivered in clipped, yet highly evocative, prose. And the protagonist, private eye Michael Kelly, has a troubled past (something about a dead woman and getting kicked off the Chicago police force that Harvey may have covered in his first book, THE CHICAGO WAY) and makes all the pithy wisecracks we've come to expect from a guy of his ilk--coming on all tough on the outside, while retaining his essential humanity within.Harvey also gives you a real feel for Chicago--the place, the people, the politics. (He even mentions The Billy Goat--the greasy spoon lampooned on Saturday Night Live in the "chee-burger, chee-burger" sketch.) The writing is so stylish and goes down so easy that you tend to forgive and forget if the plot gets a little, well, difficult to follow (or, frankly, to swallow).Kelly is hired by Janet Woods, a woman from his past--they were once romantically involved, but that was long ago and she's married now to Johnny Woods, who's abusing her. Exactly what Janet is hiring Kelly to do is never really spelled out, but he gets her permission to approach Johnny and "talk some sense" into him (whatever that may mean).So Kelly gets some preliminary intell--finds out Johnny works for the Fifth Floor (of the municipal building, where the mayor has his office) as a "fixer" (and we all know what shady characters those guys are). Kelly follows him to a house and makes a shocking discovery, which leads him to investigate whether the mayor's great grandfather (or maybe it was his great-great grandfather--someone way back there in the family tree) was involved in a conspiracy to start the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.What does this have to do with his client, Janet? Nothing that I could discern. She continues to live with Johnny and take his abuse. Worries that her daughter will end up being his next target. But Kelly is off and running anyway, investigating in land records and historical museums to get to the bottom of a murder that seems to be as much of a shock to Johnny as it is to Kelly . . . and this all helps Janet how? I just don't know.Entire review online at http://thebookgrrl.blogspot.com/2008/...

  • Kelsey
    2019-02-07 03:07

    Eh.I picked up this book because I grew up 90 minute outside Chicago and have come to love it as an adult. I put down the book for several reasons, not the least of which was because most of the Chicago references were very obscure. I didn’t feel that nostalgia and connection to the city that I was hoping for. Perhaps someone who’s lived and breathed Chicago feels differently.The Fifth Floor starts with PI Michael Kelly investigating his ex-lover’s abusive husband. He stumbles onto a murder, then stumbles onto a conspiracy linked to the Great Chicago Fire. He juggles his time among finding facts about the fire, making romance with a judge, and counseling his ex-lover and daughter about solutions other than maybe-he-won’t-kill-me-one-of-these-days and maybe-I’ll-kill-him.Unfortunately, I couldn't finish it. I thought the jump to get from old guy’s murder to Chicago Fire was big enough to clear the Grand Canyon. It was like someone gets mugged in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX, and the thief MUST be Lee Harvey Oswald’s nephew. There were some interesting clues, but it was too skimpy a trail. The PI was OK. Michael can beat someone in a fistfight with barely a yawn (impressive but dull to read). He’s also good at befriending minor characters to get information, after first describing them as if we’re in a 1920’s noir film and the cast was snatched from a Las Vegas diner. I liked the minor characters, but the descriptions of them made me cock an eyebrow (or would have, if I had that kind of facial dexterity). The same goes for the descriptions of the streets and dives Michael takes us to in Chicago. They tried to capture the detective voice of old, but it came off like an impersonation. Las Vegas impersonation.I loved the character of the Chicago mayor. He was so sincere, he was sinister. I’m curious to see if he knocked from his pedestal at the end of the book, but I get the sense The Fifth Floor isn’t about moralizing.Clearly I’m in the minority with my 1 star rating, so if you like historical and noir-esque thrillers, take a chance. Maybe start with The Chicago Way, the first in the series. Reviews say it is grittier than The Fifth Floor. For me, this is my first and last Michael Kelly book.

  • Denise Dougherty
    2019-02-12 06:08

    Another quick little "sorbet" after finishing The Political Mind. If you've read any Max Alan Collins you'd like this guy - that's what it reminded me of: contemporary crime with a tinge of historical reference. Chicago is also a central character. At times I wondered if I had read this before but - frankly - when you read so much of a genre sometimes they sound a bit familiar. I didn't hold that against Michael Harvey. It was entertaining - predictable (mostly) - and light. Should I come across another Michael Harvey audio book I'd pick it up[email protected]

  • Barry
    2019-02-16 03:13

    The Fifth Floor by Michael Harvey is a bit like an old fashioned detective story written by Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler. The sentences are short and crisp; the verbiage is simple and straightforward; The hero is somewhat noir in character and irresistible to women. Harvey's stories take place in Chicago which, for me, is a plus since I lived there prior to retirement. Chicago also has the gritty texture and machine-like power structure that fits Harvey's style perfectly.The book is written in the first person with our hero, private detective Michael Kelly narrating. Given Harvey's style, you can well imagine Bogey (if you're old enough to remember him) playing Kelly in the movie and uttering words like, "The detective's response came too fast. Fear does that to a person. Does it to old reporters in Joliet. Does it to tough detectives in Chicago. The waitress wandered over and gave us a refill."The Fifth Floor moves quickly and Harvey does an excellent job of building suspense. It's a difficult book to put down, particularly when you get to the last third.The characters are a little stereotypic but that is part of the book's charm. The only thing that I didn't care for was a very silly mistake that Kelly made about forty pages form the end. It was too silly to have been made by a seasoned private detective and their were other ways to handle the situation. Had it not been for that, I might have given the book a five star rating. Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable book to read and I have no difficulty in recommending it to anyone who likes a good mystery. I will definitely look for Harvey's future efforts.

  • Patricia
    2019-02-21 01:54

    There is an old saying that you can’t fight city hall but Michael Kelly ignores the saying and takes his investigation right to the fifth floor where the Mayor’s office is located. Michael Kelly is an ex-police officer now working as a private investigator.Janet Woods is an old friend and when she comes to Michael for help for herself and her daughter, Taylor, Michael doesn’t hesitate. Her husband is abusive and she fears for her safety and the safety of her daughter. Janet is married to Johnny Woods who works for the John J. Woods, Mayor of Chicago.Michael follows Johnny and sees him go into a house and make a fast exit. Michael decides to check inside and finds a murder victim. As Michael tries to find information about the victim, he begins to learn the real history behind the famous Chicago fire of 1871. With the help of Fred Jacobs, a reporter who knows Chicago inside and out, he learns more about the fire and the real reasons rumored to be behind the fire. There is a direct link to the Mayor’s office but that doesn’t stop Michael. Soon Michael finds himself framed for murder. Michael pulls out all stops to find the truth no matter whose toes he has to step on to get there. The Fifth Floor is an exciting follow-up to The Chicago Way that introduced Private Detective Michael Kelly. Some of the same characters appear in The Fifth Floor that were in The Chicago Way and it was nice to read about them again. It is not necessary to read The Chicago Way to enjoy The Fifth Floor.Reviewed for www.armchairinterviews.com

  • Giano Cromley
    2019-01-25 02:55

    Okay, so let me start by saying I love a good noir mystery in the vein of Hammett and Chandler. These kinds of novels are my drug of choice. So, with that in mind, you should not be surprised to hear that I consumed this book within two and a half days. I was almost physically unable to put them down.That being said, this novel felt to me like a pale imitation of those earlier masters. Yes, I liked seeing the Chicago locales and its history used to good effect here. Yes, the narrator was sufficiently grizzled and jaded. That was all to the good, so it's a little hard for me to pinpoint why exactly this wasn't a home run for me.I guess, if pressed, I'd say it was because the secondary characters all felt a little too sketched-in. I know it's part of the genre that most secondary characters typically get a kind of flip two-line description of the "cool drink of water" variety. But in this case, it just felt like they got too short-shrifted. Maybe their actions were a little too predictable, or perhaps predetermined. So, yes, I had some gripes about this book. It was not perfect. But for those who like this genre, please note what I said earlier: I finished it within the span of a weekend. This book will force you to turn pages, delay bedtime, and ignore other more pressing matters as you get absorbed into the story. And I will read his other novels because I'm curious to see if my complaints are simply contained to this book or if it's endemic to his entire oeuvre.