The Blade Itself
Marcus Sakey

St. Martin Minator
Hardcover/307 pages
ISBN: 0-312-36031-2
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". . . a watershed in crime fiction. Combining a hard-bitten voice with an urban finesse and style . . ."

Control and security are illusions.

Danny Carter and his girlfriend Karen are talking about having a baby, completely unaware their world is about to be turned upside down by unfinished business and an old friend of Danny’s.

Evan McGann and Danny Carter were once partners in crime; thieves, until Evan shot a pawnbroker during a robbery. Danny walked out the back and Evan went to prison. Out on early parole, Evan wants to pick up where he left off with his old partner.

Danny works as a project director for a construction company, but his resume didn’t include his being a thief. Everything he has built is based on lies and Evan will bring everything crashing down if Danny doesn’t help him with one last score. Caught between the excitement of his old life and the certain knowledge that Karen will leave him if he goes back to crime, Danny risks it all. He is certain he can control Evan’s unpredictable homicidal temper. Danny wants to feel the rush just one more time. He agrees to help as long as he can make the rules. What he doesn’t count on is Evan changing the rules.

The Blade Itself is a watershed in crime fiction. Combining a hard-bitten voice with an urban finesse and style, Marcus Sakey pens the excitement and adrenaline rush of crime in sharp contrast to the relative safety of the middle class life without short changing or romanticizing either lifestyle. Quite simply, The Blade Itself is what fiction should be: sharp, clean, provocative, and visceral. Sakey’s Chicago veers away from the Gold Coast and into the alleys and byways two streets over from clean suburbs and gated communities without the caricatures and stereotypes. The pace slows just enough to allow the reader to catch his breath, bogging down only in a few places. Ultimately, it leaves the breathless reader stunned and satisfied.
Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell