My favorite so far. In addition to being sexy private-eye stories, the Nick Nowak books are historical in a time and place with which I have very a personal connection. Book 5 really hit home for me, I am talking late summer of 1982 and Tylenol. The first death occurred in my home town, a suburb of Chicago and as soon as the Tylenol was implicated, cops were driving up and down the streets in their cruisers shouting in their bullhorns "DO NOT TAKE TYLENOL"
. It was primitive but effective. Keep in mind, many people didn't even have cable TV or answering machines at the time, and Al Gore was still busy inventing the internet. So while the Bughouse slasher may have been an invented character, Mr. Thornton artfully mixes his this plot with real events and places. The Tylenol crisis of 1892 was shocking and an interesting case study in corporate crisis management and so is Boystown 5. The Tylenol crisis came on fast and was resolved relatively quickly, a microcosm of the AIDS crisis that is playing out in real-time during the stories. As readers, we all know the serious heath risks that Nick and friends are facing, but they don't know this, yet. Hopefully very soon, they will hear the metaphorical cops shouting into their bullhorns "DO NOT HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX"
BTW, I loved how Nick managed to solve Bert's hidden murder book quest after drinking a bottle of Scotch for lunch. That's why he is all kinds of win for me.