Friday, December 07, 2007

Pg. 69: Michael Wiley's "The Last Striptease"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Michael Wiley's The Last Striptease.

About the book, from the author's website:
The Last Striptease is a thrilling tale about greed and revenge on the streets of Chicago. Private eye Joe Kozmarski has just been asked to clear his childhood friend Bob Piedras of murder. Bob’s latest girlfriend, a young Vietnamese-American beauty, has turned up dead in an airport hotel. No one’s very surprised. She had a taste for hard liquor, drugs, and stripping in front of a camera. And Bob has a history of violence. But Bob's boss, retired judge Peter Rifkin, is convinced Bob is innocent and he thinks Joe is the one to find the real killer.

But Joe’s life is complicated. He hasn't spoken to Rifkin for fifteen years, ever since his father, now dead, found out that the judge had double-crossed him. The dead woman’s brothers, a pair of tough guys, are bent on being the first to find and punish her murderer. On top of that, Joe and his wife have separated and his mother has dropped his eleven-year-old nephew on him. But the more obstacles Joe encounters, the more determined he becomes to see this case through.

Among the praise for The Last Striptease:

The Last Striptease is a “fast-paced,” “entertaining read.” Private detective Joe Kozmarski is a “wonderfully flawed everyman” for whom “Readers will applaud.”
Publishers Weekly

"Why shouldn't a private cop with time on his hands hang out the 'Gone Fishing' sign? Because he might get hooked." In The Last Striptease, Wiley "speak[s] ... fluent Chandler."
Kirkus Reviews

Wiley has written "a stylish and savvy page-turner of a noir-nuanced thriller ... a riveting debut."
Chicago Tribune

"If Michael Wiley's goal was to write a murder mystery that would keep readers up past their bed time, he has succeeded. Wiley has turned out a first novel that has an absorbing plot and believable characters. The writing in The Last Striptease is strong and seamless."
Florida Times-Union

"With more white-knuckle excitement and pulse-pounding surprises than a rush hour taxi ride on Chicago's busiest freeways, The Last Striptease is a superb entertainment and the latest winner in the esteemed Best First Private Eye Novel Contest. With vibrant characterizations and shrewdly conceived plotting, this gritty new novel by an impressive new talent in the private eye fiction genre is certain to win Kozmarski (and author Michael Wiley) plenty of committed fans. Don't miss it!"
Book Loons

Michael Wiley teaches literature and writing at the University of North Florida. The Last Striptease, winner of the PWA/SMP “best first” prize, is his first mystery featuring Joe Kozmarski.

Read an excerpt from The Last Striptease, and learn more about the book and author at Michael Wiley's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Striptease.

--Marshal Zeringue