“The best way I can describe the Four Corners neighborhood of Chicago is find a length of rebar, scratch a big cross into the concrete, set your feet solid in the quadrant you like best, lean back, and start shooting.”
Officer Bobby Vargas is hard-edged but idealistic, a Chicago cop who stands at the epicenter of a subterranean plot that will have horrific ramifications for both himself and the entire city. Twenty-five years earlier, a gruesome murder rocked the unforgiving streets of Four Corners. Now, suddenly, a dying Chicago paper is running a serial exposé on new evidence in that old case, threatening to implicate Bobby and his older brother, Ruben—a decorated, high-ranking detective and cop- prince of the streets. The smear campaign stirs up decades-old bad blood, leading the Vargas brothers down an increasingly twisted and terrifying path, where the sins of the past threaten to destroy what remains of the truth.
As readers and critics discovered in his first novel, Calumet City, Charlie Newton’s Chicago is a landscape as brutal and poignant as any in modern crime fiction—a multi-faceted, shockingly violent labyrinth of gangland politics, political backstabbing, corporate malfeasance, and, possibly, hope. Start Shooting is a riveting read.
“Can’t get enough of Chicago? The most dynamic character in Charlie Newton’s…terrific [START SHOOTING] is the Windy City–the down and dirty side of it, anyway…the voices reverberate in your ears, and the smell of gunfire lingers long after the last man is down.” ~New York Times Book Review
“The vision of Chicago in this firecracker crime novel is one teeming with violence and venality, where Al Capone has been replaced by gangbangers and authorities are far from untouchable…his lit-fuse urgency hits you right in the gut.” ~Entertainment Weekly
“A vast cast of characters, many deeply evil; numerous subplots…; copious violence and car chases; a granular look at the city; and a writing style that might be called fever dream….Arleen and Bobby are wonderfully realized characters, and the beyond-frenzied action is certainly hypnotic. Newton has created the writerly equivalent of every great Chicago bluesman who ever lived playing together; all soloing simultaneously. It might be messy, but you wouldn’t want to miss a single note.” ~Booklist (starred review)
“Charlie Newton is the real goods, delivering bare-knuckles crime fiction with life-or-death action, visceral language, and characters whose flaws and humanity pull us into his cops-and-crime landscape. I was completely won over. Start Shooting is a superb balance between adrenaline and pathos.” ~Robert Crais, New York Times bestselling author of The Sentry
A thumbnail on the Chicago-born author reads like that of one of his characters—a fellow who has seen a bit more reality than is often healthy but come away with P. J. O’Rourke’s sense of humor instead of angst and Hunter Thompson’s pathology sans the .44 magnum. Charlie’s early career leaned toward pirate-adventurer rather than responsible citizen, living and working in exotic, often-unhealthy places, doing some of the devil’s business and some of the king’s.
The semi-adult epiphany arrived with his thirtieth birthday. Charlie Newton has built successful bars/restaurants and resort apartments, raced thoroughbreds that weren’t quite so successful, and brokered television and film in the Middle East to gentlemen who often weren’t. Generally speaking, he’s lived a life in the borderlands (literal and figurative) where stories like START SHOOTING and CALUMET CITY happen. And survived to enjoy it.
To learn more about Charlie, please visit his website.