He should have known better.
When Cassie asked, "What scares you, Harding?" he should have gotten out of the car and walked away. But then she started telling him the story of a runaway boy's disappearance twenty-two years ago. And how two years later, the boy's sister hid in a basement while upstairs the rest of her family were murdered. The boy was never found. The crime was never solved.
Cassie Rayn is that sister, and now she's begun to receive terrifying anonymous messages, strange reminders of the most horrible night of her life and stranger hints that her brother might be alive. When Harding takes the case, the only things he knows for certain are that their search has stirred up something ugly and if he can't get to the bottom of this soon, his client's life will be snuffed out.
Pretty Ballerina marks the return of ex-con private eye Harding, a loner who combines the tarnished armor of Philip Marlowe with the smart mouth of Spenser. When Wessel's first novel, This Far, No Further, was launched, Sue Grafton called it "one of the most exciting mystery debuts in years." And the rest of the world agreed. The New York Times called it "flagrantly original," while the Fort Worth Star-Telegram said it "delivered a knockout punch," and the Chicago Tribune called Wessel "a writer to be reckoned with."
They're right. Wessel takes the private-eye form to a higher level by offering us a cast of quirky, unpredictable characters; by telling us his stories in a voice that demonstrates an unmatched ear for tough, funny dialogue; and by making the city of Chicago -- venal, violent, and pulsing with a unique energy -- as much a character as it is a setting. In Pretty Ballerina, he offers a harrowing tale of love, betrayal, and the terrors of memory. He takes us on a journey through the darkest recesses of the human mind and brings us face to face with the strangeness, the evil, that lurks just around the corner....Continua