Unknown-2Time’s Up

Janey Mack. Kensington, $15 trade paper (356p) ISBN 978-1-61773-690-2

Mack’s outstanding debut conjures up equal parts Janet Evanovich (zany characters) and Michael Harvey (the Chicago political machine). Maisie McGrane was a top recruit in the police academy until she was booted for failing the psych review. Embarrassed and devastated but not deterred, she takes a job with the traffic department as the next best thing and a way to get back into the police department’s good graces. Unfortunately, giving tickets to Chicago’s drivers and parking scofflaws proves dangerous: Maisie stumbles on a body, who happens to be a union activist. Things go from bad to worse when she hassles the mayor’s driver for illegal parking. A firestorm of controversy soon pits Maisie against a slew of shady folks stretching from the mayor’s office to the unions, and even the police department itself. Riotous characters, including the members of the large McGrane clan, enhance a fast and furious plot that expertly balances menace and laugh-out-loud hijinks. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency. (July)