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We All Fall Down
Cover of We All Fall Down
We All Fall Down
Borrow Borrow
Chicago cop turned private investigator Michael Kelly is racing to save his city from a deadly new foe: a biological weapon unleashed underground.
When a lightbulb falls in a subway tunnel, it releases a pathogen that could kill millions. While the mayor postures, people begin to die, especially on the city's grim West Side. Hospitals become morgues. L trains are converted into rolling hearses. Finally, the government acts, sealing off entire sections of the city—but are they keeping people out or in? Meanwhile, Michael Kelly's hunt for the people who poisoned his city takes him into the tangled underworld of Chicago's West Side gangs and the even more frightening world of black biology—an elite discipline emerging from the nation's premier labs, where scientists play God and will stop at nothing to preserve their secrecy.
It's a brave new world . . . and the most audacious page-turner yet from an emerging modern master.
From the Hardcover edition.
Chicago cop turned private investigator Michael Kelly is racing to save his city from a deadly new foe: a biological weapon unleashed underground.
When a lightbulb falls in a subway tunnel, it releases a pathogen that could kill millions. While the mayor postures, people begin to die, especially on the city's grim West Side. Hospitals become morgues. L trains are converted into rolling hearses. Finally, the government acts, sealing off entire sections of the city—but are they keeping people out or in? Meanwhile, Michael Kelly's hunt for the people who poisoned his city takes him into the tangled underworld of Chicago's West Side gangs and the even more frightening world of black biology—an elite discipline emerging from the nation's premier labs, where scientists play God and will stop at nothing to preserve their secrecy.
It's a brave new world . . . and the most audacious page-turner yet from an emerging modern master.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    CHAPTER 1

    My eyes flicked open. The clock read 4:51 a.m., and I was wide awake. I’d been dreaming—-rich colors, shapes, and places—-but couldn’t remember all the details. It didn’t matter. I climbed out of bed and shuffled down the hallway. Rachel Swenson sat in an armchair by the front windows. The pup was asleep in her lap.

    “Hey,” I said.

    She turned, face paled in light from the street, eyes a glittering reflection of my grief and guilt. “Hey.”

    “That dog can sleep anywhere.” I pulled a chair close. Maggie slipped an eye open, yawned, stretched, and went back to sleep.

    “I should be staying at my place,” Rachel said.

    “I like you here.”

    She tickled two bandaged fingers across the top of the pup’s head and ran her eyes back toward the windows. Rachel was a sitting judge for the Northern District of Illinois. And one of the finest people I knew. She was also damaged. Because she was my girlfriend. Or, rather, had been.

    “I was going to make a cup of tea,” I said. “You want one?”

    She shook her head. I stayed where I was. And we sat together in the darkness.

    “You can’t sleep?” she said.

    “Dreams.”

    She nodded, and we sat some more.

    “What’s the knife for, Rach?”

    She looked down at the knife tucked into her left hand. “I got it from the kitchen.”

    “Why?”

    Her gaze drifted to a small table and the slab of cheese that sat on it. “You want a piece?”

    I shook my head. She held the blade up between us. “You thought I was going to hurt someone?”

    “Just wondering about the knife, Rach.”

    “I’m fine.” It had been almost a month since the attack. Most of the swelling in her face was gone—-the bruises reduced to faint traces of yellow.

    “What did you dream about?” she said.

    “I usually don’t remember.”

    “Usually?”

    “Sometimes I get premonitions. Twice before. I wake up and feel certain things have happened.”

    “If they’ve already happened, they’re not premonitions.”

    “You’re right.”

    “Are you going to make your tea?”

    “In a minute.”

    “Tell me about them,” she said, cutting off a small slice of cheese and nibbling at a corner.

    “The dreams?”

    “The premonitions.”

    “I got the first one when my brother died.”

    “Philip?”

    “I was seventeen. Woke up in the middle of the night and walked out to our living room.”

    “And?”

    “I sat in front of the phone and stared at it for ten minutes until it rang. The warden told me he’d killed himself. Hung himself in a cell with his bedsheet. But it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know.”

    “I’m sorry.”

    “Second time was a couple years back—-the night my father died.”

    I remembered my eyes opening, tasting the old man’s passing like dry dust at the back of my throat. I pulled out the whiskey that night and filled a glass. Then I sat by the phone again until it rang.

    “And now?” Rachel said.

    “That’s the thing. I’m not sure this time.”

    “But it’s something.”

    “I believe so, yes.”

    She got up from the chair and settled the...
About the Author-
  • Michael Harvey is the author of The Chicago Way, The Fifth Floor, and The Third Rail and is also a journalist and documentary producer. His work has won multiple Emmy Awards, and has received two Primetime Emmy nominations and an Academy Award nomination, among numerous other awards. He holds a law degree from Duke University, a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a bachelor's degree in classical languages from Holy Cross College. He lives, of course, in Chicago.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine There's plenty of murder and mayhem in this latest Michael Kelly adventure, and narrator Stephen Hoye makes the most of it by pacing the action well. The nursery rhyme this book's title comes from refers to the sixteenth-century epidemic of "Black Death," which killed one third of humanity. That's close to what detective Michael Kelly is called on to combat in Harvey's newest. Someone has released a deadly pathogen on the West Side of Chicago, and while corpses are loaded onto trains for cremation, Kelly searches for the source. Somehow the answer relates to a murdered Korean merchant, a Mafia boss, and a local gang. Hoye's accents are highly believable, and his narrative voice is unusual and intriguing. Overall, there's nothing in this performance that lets the listener down. A.L.H. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 13, 2011
    Harvey shows how a thriller focused on bioterrorism should be done in his outstanding fourth novel featuring Chicago PI Michael Kelly (after The Third Rail). At a high-level meeting that includes the city's mayor and Homeland Security agents, two scientists reveal that a biowarning device in a subway tunnel has detected the possible presence of a pathogen. Kelly provides security for the biologists when they visit the site of what everyone hopes is a false positive. Skeptical of the explanation for why the Feds or Chicago PD aren't being used for the job, Kelly soon learns that some form of superbug is felling Chicagoans left and right. As the city is quarantined, Kelly risks his life to track down the truth, a search that brings him into conflict with the Mafia and a ruthless narcotics gang. The complexity of the plot never overwhelms the narrative flow in this utterly persuasive view of a present-day apocalyptic nightmare.

  • Publishers Weekly (starred review)
    "Harvey shows how a thrilled focused on bioterrorism should be done in his outstanding fourth novel. . . . The complexity of the plot never overwhelms the narrative flow in this utterly persuasive view of a present-day apocalyptic nightmare."
  • Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review "Jolting. . . . Harvey's feel for Chicago ramps up the fast-paced, grimly realistic action."
  • Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune "Somebody needs to notify the authorities, because Michael Harvey is bound to create havoc and mayhem with his new thriller. . . . Harvey does for the Windy City what Michael Connelly did for Los Angeles: He commandeers it, warts and all, and wrangles it into his fiction."
  • Gerald Bartell, The Washington Post Book World "[A] knockout thriller. . . . Harvey dispenses the pressure plays, cruel surprises and heartbreaking setbacks of his plot with crack timing, never allowing the reader a moment to unfasten his seat belt. And all the while Harvey renders [P. I. Michael] Kelly's Chicago in crisp, tough and ironic prose."
  • Les Roberts, Cleveland Plain Dealer "The suspense hums and the dialogue is truthfully tough, but it's the writing that elevates Harvey to the top of the PI genre. He's the best Chicago novelist . . . since Nelson Algren."
  • John Grisham "Michael Harvey should be read by all."
  • Michael Connelly "A major new voice."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "[A] stellar third novel. . . . Harvey stakes a persuasive claim as the preeminent contemporary voice of Chicago noir."
  • Kirkus "[A] book-length jolt of pure adrenaline."
  • Thomas Gaughan, Booklist "The expert use of Chicago politics that distinguished Harvey's previous novel, The Fifth Floor, is much in evidence here as well. . . . [T]he action is nonstop, Harvey once again captures the unique zeitgeist of the city, and Kelly, tough, smart, and a bit rough around the edges, is a true native son."
  • Teresa L. Jacobsen, Library Journal "Harvey drives his third Michael Kelly entry (after The Fifth Floor) like an efficient train. . . . The mixture of high-speed drama and historical elements showcases the author's journalist roots. It comes off like a juicy true-crime story with abundant twists, ensuring that the reader is left feeling unbalanced most of the time. Harvey shares his passion for Chicago, much like Gabriel Cohen does with his Brooklyn crime novels."
  • Erik Larson, author of The Devil In the White City "In The Fifth Floor, Michael Harvey gives us a tale of murder, bare-knuckle mayoral politics, and historical catastrophe--in short, the perfect Chicago detective story, complete with a loving tour of the city's funkier locales that'll make any displaced Chicagoan long for home."
  • Les Roberts, Cleveland Plain Dealer "Michael Harvey has done for Chicago what Raymond Chandler did for Los Angeles and Dashiell Hammett for San Francisco. . . . Dazzlingly good."
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We All Fall Down
We All Fall Down
Michael Harvey
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