Sean Chercover set the bar pretty high with his first novel, the Gumshoe Award-winning Big City, Bad Blood. It would be natural to expect that his follow-up book might have trouble matching up. But I'm pleased to report that Trigger City is not just the equal of Chercover's debut, it's even better. Chicago PI Ray Dudgeon is hired by a grieving father to investigate his late daughter's life. Dudgeon's not doing so well himself, still recovering from the abuse, both physical and psychic, that he took in the first book. Those two elements combine to set the PI down a dangerous path that sees him involved with some nasty stuff, including a government conspiracy that finds Dudgeon in way over his head. The plot might be a little over-the-top, but Chercover makes it work. He's a smooth, deft writer, Dudgeon is a great character, and the city of Chicago makes a fine backdrop for this hardboiled tale. What more could you ask for?