Created by Mitchell Bartoy
Motor City madness, retro-style.
PETE CAUDILL's not a private eye. He's a cop in world WWII-era Detroit. At least he is when we first meet him, in Mitchell Bartoy's 2005 first novel The Devil's Own Rag Doll.
But owing to the events in that impressive debut (I ain't telling) he's pretty much on his own by its sequel, The Devil's Only Friend (2006), having quit the police department. Unemployed and at loose ends, Pete reluctantly lets a black friend convince him to look into the murder of his sister, Felicia, whose mutilated body was discovered outside an automobile plant in Cleveland given over to war production.
Of course, in true P.I. tradition, Caudill is soon stepping on toes, receiving both a warning and a beating in short order. Naturally that doesn't deter him and he discovers what seems like a connection between Felicia's death and that of another woman found outside another of the company's plants, this one in Indiana. With the Feds nosing around and family problems dogging him, the company's president (who bears more than a little resemblance to Henry Ford) can't risk a scandal, so he hires Caudill to investigate.
Bartoy's unrelentingly grim take on the moral morass and ethical compromises of a war-time economy bodes well for this series; a historical take that fans of fellow Motown dicks Amos Walker and Ben Perkins should appreciate.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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