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Dirty Martini

Review by: 
J.A. Konrath
Publication Date: 
Bottom Line: 

 Author J.A. Konrath knows exactly what he’s doing. 
With three great rounds under his belt already, Konrath steps up to the tee box the way Tiger Woods does on a Sunday, and hits the longest, straightest drive anyone could expect.  Dirty Martini is the fourth installment in the Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels detective series.  The Chicago Homicide Detective has previously gone toe-to-toe with serial killers, psychopaths and revenge artists.  This time around, she’s matching wits with a serial poisoner calling himself The Chemist.
As the criminal begins killing civilians around the city, it’s up to Jack to find him, identify him and stop him.  This time around, she’s without the help of her rotund partner, Herb Benedict, who has chosen a transfer to Robbery.  Her support system is run into the ground, friends are hard to come by, and the Mayor’s Public Relations goon is proving to be a big obstacle.
Konrath has an amazing feel for how to pace a story.  Dirty Martini gives you a great cyclical experience; drama and violence, a huge laugh, then a bread crumb.  Down that glass and prepare for the next, each dose building to a heart-pumping conclusion. 
Fans of the series will be stunned at how much the beloved heroine suffers to do what she feels is right.  From cockroaches to mousetraps to an anal-retentive policeman on a scooter, there’s no stopping the hair-raising hijinx.  Half the time, readers will be holding their stomachs from the nauseous events.  The other half they’ll be holding their sides from laughing so hard.
The material in Dirty Martini, as in Whiskey Sour, Bloody Mary and Rusty Nail before it, is deeply researched.  After one read, you’d assume Konrath was writing his dissertation on chemical warfare instead of a cop novel.  It’s the attention to detail, as well as the deeply rooted connection to the Windy City, that put readers right into the scenes.
Daniels’ fans will be delighted with the buffet of emotions provided by Dirty Martini, and they won’t be the only ones.  Readers can enjoy this book even if it’s the first contact they have with Jack, Herb and Jack’s ex-partner Harry McGlade.  The events are fast-paced.  The characters are sincere (even when the craziest of happenings are surrounding them) and Jack is a dynamic and dedicated detective readers can really get behind.
Konrath has poured out another fine brew.  This one is not to be missed.
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