Review of Start Shooting by Charlie Newton

When an author writes a great debut novel, as Charlie Newton did with Calumet City, the question becomes, can he follow it up with a book which is just as good, if not better? With his second crime thriller, Start Shooting, Newton has written a novel every bit as good as the first, if for different reasons. One difference is the story is told from the point of view of two people, not just one. Newton alternates between Chicago police officer Bobby Vargas and actress Arleen Brennan, two former residents of Chicago’s Four Corners, who find their lives laid bare by the Chicago Herald in a new expose on the death of Arleen’s twin sister, Coleen, twenty-five years earlier. Bobby finds himself accused, along with his older brother Ruben, himself a Chicago police detective, in Coleen’s death. While at the same time, Arleen is being pushed to front a scam involving a mysterious package which may spell doom for the city of Chicago, in exchange for her chance to star in a Street Car Named Desire at the Schubert Theater. Throw in Korean mobsters, a do-over Olympic bid, a Japanese mega corporation and you have a thriller which will keep you guessing right up until the very end. Once again writing in first person, present tense style, Newtwon walks you step by step with the characters as they fight for control of their own lives. Pick up a copy of Start Shooting and you won’t be disappointed.

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