Thursday, April 5, 2018

Took A While: "Out of Cabrini" by Dave Case

Took A While: Out of Cabrini by Dave Case, 2006, 1594143781.

When I was in middle school my parents started subscribing to the Chicago Tribune. I read the paper most every day and mainly focused on the comics (two full pages!) and the Mike Royko columns. I'd read the rest of the paper depending on the day. Of several articles I  still recall, one was a profile of the Cabrini Green housing projects. The reporter detailed how incredibly dangerous and run down the high rise building were. How the Police Officers willing to work there were always on high alert. How the buildings were controlled by the gangs. How the drug trade and violence ruled the day.

So, when I saw the reviews for this novel back in 2005 or 2006 I was ready to read it. Doing so took me 12 years but I finally got to the novel.

Stacy Macbeth is on a mobile squad of Officers that work the Cabrini-Green buildings. They work in pairs and teams on different cases. One of those cases was the leader of smaller gang in Cabrini who just got out of prison, Alonzo Huggins. Huggins is a gang enforcer and upon his return from prison was gifted several pounds of cocaine for his loyalty. Huggins is not only a stone killer but he also enjoys beating up his longtime girlfriend. She ends up calling Macbeth and Huggins after less than 24 hours of freedom Huggins is arrested with a firearm. But, the cops don't find the dope in the car.

Well, Huggins wants his dope back. Huggins calls his lackeys from jail and sends them to the city car auction to buy the forfeited car, But, a businessman with an inside line pays a bribe to get the car before auction time.  The gangbanger lackeys start killing their way to the drugs and murdering witnesses on the way. A freeway collision caused by the gangbangers has the other driver, a City security guard, looking for the gangbangers to pay the car damage. Stacy starts looking for the missing security guard.

All the strings lead together to death and destruction, plenty of bodies, the smell of gunpowder, and distraught relatives.

The novel does not go into great detail on the characters. Stacy is fleshed out quite a bit but the meat of the story is in the chase and the long process of a police officer working a case. Stacy will ask questions, ask questions, ask questions, and ask questions. Stacy doesn't have much of a life outside of work anyway.

The bad guys are a bit one dimensional but you end up knowing more about the main Lackey who is under the stress of satisfying Huggins's demands, dealing with massive stress, keeping his troops in line, so on, so forth. 

An decent novel but not fantastic or anything. It's a shame Case has not put any other books out.

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