I got to know Daniel O’ Shea at a group dinner at the Ratskeller Restaurant during the Indianapolis Bouchercon. There, he told me about the book he was trying to sell. It sounded unique, an edgy police procedural mixed with a political thriller. The French Connection meets All The President’s Men. I told him to get a copy to me as soon as it was in print. That took four years.
In that in between time, Dan O’Shea had a number of short stories published. They showed his skill at marrying the edgy and the accessible. His native Chicago is easily recognized in much of his work, primarily because of the tone of the dialogue in which O’Shea writes.
Because of the concise nature of O’Shea’s short stories, it was surprising to me that he would then take on such an epic tale for his debut, Penance. The story is set in the present, with Chicago cop John Lynch looking into the sniper shooting of an elderly woman outside her church. We are then lead back to the early Seventies where we discover the shooting is tied to an investigation Lynch’s policeman father was looking into. An investigation that cost him his life. The book has both a sweeping and intimate feel to it. The banter between Lynch and the members of his unit and the well executed action passages give your favorite cop movie a run for its money.
In O’Shea’s latest, Greed, Lynch returns to dirty politics and a high body count. This time though, it’s ex-marines, the mob, and blood diamonds. I look forward to visiting O’Shea’s Chicago again. It was worth the wait.
Copies of Penance and Greed are available on our shelves at BookPeople & via bookpeople.com.