9780307356086

High Chicago

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780307356086

  • ISBN10:

    0307356086

  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-07-14
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada
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Summary

After his successful debut, Buffalo Jump, Howard Shrier is back with High Chicago, the next in the Jonah Geller series. Toronto investigator Jonah Geller has opened his own agency, World Repairs, and he and his partner, Jenn Raudsepp, are immediately drawn into investigating the apparent suicide of a young girl and the high-stakes world of construction and development on a long-neglected parcel of Toronto's waterfront. Clues lead them to suspect that fabled real estate tycoon Simon Birk the partner of the dead girl's father is killing people who get in the way of the project, but the evidence isn't rock solid. And Jonah has to craft an audacious plan to take down one of Chicago's most powerful men. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Biography

Howard Shrier was born and raised in Montreal and has worked in a wide variety of media, including magazine and radio journalism, theatre and television, sketch comedy and improv. He lives in Toronto with his wife and their two sons.

Excerpts

PROLOGUE

Tell anyone you’re flying into Chicago and they advise you to avoid O’Hare. Too big, too busy, too far from town. One of the worst records in America for delays in and out. Fly into Midway, they say. What they don’t tell you is that it’s virtually impossible to go direct from Toronto to Midway on less than a day’s notice, and that’s all the time I had. O’Hare it was.

It was the last week of October, still pitch black when I left my place in the east end of the city at five-thirty in the morning. The cab driver made it to Pearson in under half an hour, perhaps mistaking the 401 for the Autobahn. I then spent an hour crawling through security and U.S. Customs at the airport and another hour at the gate. Nearly two hours in the air. A half-hour sitting on the tarmac in Chicago and another half-hour to make my way to the baggage claim area and find my suitcase. It was ten-fifteen Chicago time by the time I reached arrivals.

Anxious faces were looking my way. Families looking for family members. Friends looking for friends. Drivers holding cards with the names of business- class passengers. And one mountain of a man with thick dirty- blond hair and a neatly trimmed beard who bellowed my name and lifted me off my feet in a bear hug that left my ribs little room to do the breathing thing.

His name was Avi Sternberg and we hadn’t seen each other in over ten years. “Jonah Geller,” he grinned. “Jonah goddamn Geller. Look at you, man. You look fantastic.” He gripped my biceps in his big hands. “Buff too. Check out the arms.”

His teeth were whiter and straighter than they’d been when I’d last seen him and he wasn’t wearing thick glasses anymore. His eyes behind contact lenses were the pale blue of a winter sky.

“You look good too,” I said.

“Liar. I’ve put on like fifty pounds.”

He’d been a beanpole then, six-three and maybe 170 pounds. But his new-found bulk was nicely encased in an expensive grey wool suit, the kind a lawyer might wear in Chicago on an Indian summer day. And since he was a lawyer now, and there were a dozen reasons why I might need one, I didn’t hold the suit against him.

“Flight okay?” he asked.

“Pretty painless,” I said.

“The security as tight up there in Canada as it is here? Make you dump all your liquids and everything?”

“Even the bottled water.”

“All right. Let’s get you out of here. That all your stuff?”

“Yup.” I’d packed everything I thought I’d need into one big suitcase on wheels. The less you took on board with you, the easier it was to clear security. “I really appreciate you coming out to get me, Avi. You look like a busy man.”

“I’m paid to look this way. And don’t thank me. No one should have to make their way out of this hellhole alone.”

He looked around, got his bearings and told me to follow him. Like a fullback clearing the way for a runner, he aimed his bulk forward and made people clear a path. A man with too many suitcases on his cart had to stop short to avoid hitting Avi and the bags went tipping over. The man cursed but Avi just kept going; didn’t hear the man or didn’t care.

When we got out of the terminal, I moved past the knot of smokers you see outside every public building nowadays and stopped to take a few deep breaths. Unclouded by jet fuel, tobacco or body odour, the fall air was crisp and fresh. Warmer than it had been in Toronto. I wondered how many people come to Chicago from a colder place.

“Listen,” Avi said, “why don’t you wait here. I’ll get the car and come around.”

“You sure? My bag’s on wheels.”

&

Excerpted from High Chicago by Howard Shrier
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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