• Big City, Bad Blood

  • By: Sean Chercover
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (275 ratings)

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Big City, Bad Blood  By  cover art

Big City, Bad Blood

By: Sean Chercover
Narrated by: Joe Barrett
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Publisher's Summary

Disillusioned newspaper reporter-turned-private detective Ray Dudgeon doesn't want to save the world; he just wants to do an honest job well. But when doing an honest job threatens society's most powerful and corrupt, Ray's odds of survival make for a sucker's bet.

A simple bodyguard job for a Hollywood locations manager uncovers a rat's nest of sexual blackmail, murder, and high-level political corruption...and Ray Dudgeon is caught in a war between the FBI, the Chicago police, and the mob. With the line between good and bad blurring, Ray doesn't know who he can trust - or if he can even trust himself.

©2007 Sean Chercover (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Gumshoe Award, Best First Novel, 2008
  • Shamus Award, Best First P.I. Novel, 2008

"The author's considerable storytelling and characterization gifts compare favorably with those of Loren D. Estleman and other established masters of the crime genre." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Big City, Bad Blood

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    89
  • 4 Stars
    95
  • 3 Stars
    71
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    9
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    82
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    65
  • 4 Stars
    58
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Quintessentially Chicago

This is a very "noir" crime novel, as in the likes of Dashiell Hammett. Ray is a deeply flawed, very violent man, with a penchant for introspection. The character is drawn with exquisite detail. So is the city of Chicago in which it takes place.

The plot hums along at a most satisfactory pace. The narrator is superb. My one nit is his mispronunciation of the street name Armitage!

This award-winning novel is a must for all Chicagoans, and for devotees of crime fiction everywhere.

I wonder why Audible hasn't given it more visibility.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Really good

The plot hums along at a most satisfactory pace. The narrator is superb. My one nit is his mispronunciation of the street name Armitage!

This award-winning novel is a must for all Chicagoans, and for devotees of crime fiction everywhere.

I wonder why Audible hasn't given it more visibility.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Big City

Great listen. love the author and the narrator. Full of Chicago color and good characterizations. Will definitely listen to any other books by Chercover.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Cliched, full of stereotypes. Boring.

This is typing, not writing, as Truman Capote (or was it Gore Vidal?) once said. The reader is very good, and I have enjoyed many of his other audiobooks, but Sean Chercover is another in a very long line of private investigators who believe they can write. Along with like-minded attorneys, this group has multiplied, due to the demand for good work in the area, and at some point they should be quietly extinguished (nothing violent, you understand). Tim Hallinan, John Grisham and John Lescroarts have nothing to worry about. Their work bears no resemblance to this trash. Save your money and your time. Listen to these three guys, in the case of Grisham the early work, and forget about Mr. Chercover. He should retire again.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Decent story

The story was engaging enough that I wanted to keep listening tho it was not too difficult to figure out how it would end. I love the Chicago setting. It seems so many detective stories take place in NYC or LA and I liked this one being closer to home and in a city I knew.
The narrator was terrific except for one thing....his British accent is godawful. The "girlfriend" is supposed to be British but every time her character spoke she sounded exactly like the Geico gecko and I'd start laughing. But she was never a humorous character so the laughing spoiled the mood. And to me it sounded more like a really bad Aussie accent than
British as well. But his other characters were great so I had to try to overlook the absurdity of her accent. But truly.....all I could see was that silly gecko in the commercials.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Decent but not great.

I really should give this 3.5 stars. It's not really good enough to be a 4 star book, but it's better than average so 3 is too low.

A decent little detective/noire/mafia book. Some violence, some suspense, perhaps a bit too much politicizing, but oh well, you can't have everything. Oh, and there is way too much description of room decor - I don't really care who manufactured someone's couch or what the stairs are tiled with.

Ray Dudgeon is an interesting character. You like him and want him to make out okay, even though you suspect he won't in the long run.

Story has a bit of mob history and some anti-government sentiment, and a basic premise that the world is corrupt. If you like that sort of stuff and don't mind a resolution that is just slightly short of miraculous, you'll like this book. It is enjoyable and quick.

The narrator does a good job.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Solid Detective Novel

Joe Barrett's note-perfect performance and Sean Chercover's skilled evocation of Chicago (and Hollywood) were my favorite aspects of this solid detective novel. Dudgeon's a good character and the story dances around some clichés of the genre while effectively utilizing others. There's nothing startling original here but if you're in the mood for a hard-boiled detective story, Big City, Bad Blood delivers.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable & very up to date

I really enjoyed this book (except for the getting beat up part). The author was up to date & this was refreshing. The story line was intriguing too. I recommend others read it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Please write another novel soon!!

What did you love best about Big City, Bad Blood?

I love the character developement, the title character is great with all his strengths and weaknesses

What did you like best about this story?

It was fun

Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not but will look for him in the future

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A nice trip back to Chi

There are a lot of weak elements in this book. The supporting characters are, for the most part, very one-dimensional and uninteresting; the dialog is often flat, cliched, and predictable; the lead character spends way too much time obsessing over his girlfriend who doesn't like guns, and he describes room decor as though he were an interior decorator. I found myself thinking repeatedly, "I want him to be TOUGH -- and this ISN'T TOUGH!"

But there are a lot of good elements here too, starting with the narrator. The tone he sets -- a little tough, a little jaded, but never over the top -- is just perfect. He also does a good Chicago accent, and does a great job on several others to boot. The plot and the pacing are also pretty good, if not especially original, and as a transplanted Chicagoan, I loved all of the Chicago references (although I also cringed on the mispronouncing of Armitage -- shouldn't there have been SOMEONE from Chicago to check pronunciation?).

I probably won't read another book from this author because I did find his weaknesses a little too much to want to sit through again, but I'm not displeased I got this one -- it was a good listen.

1 person found this helpful