Cover image for The governor's wife
The governor's wife
Harvey, Michael T.
Personal Author:
[Large print ed.]
Publication Information:
Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2015.
Physical Description:
341 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
It's been two years since disgraced Illinois governor Ray Perry disappeared from a federal courthouse in Chicago moments after being sentenced to thirty-eight years in prison on corruption charges. PI Michael Kelly is sitting in his office when he gets an anonymous email offering to pay him nearly a quarter million dollars if he will find Perry, no questions asked. Kelly's investigation begins with the woman Ray Perry left behind - his wife, Marie. Ostracized by her former friends and hounded by the feds, Marie tells Kelly she has no idea where her husband is. Like everyone else, Kelly doesn't believe her. As he hunts for her husband, Kelly begins to unwind Marie Perry's past. What he finds is a woman who turns out to be even more intriguing than her husband, with her own deeply complicated reasons for standing by him. Everyone in Chicago has secrets, including the governor's wife. Some of them she shared with her husband. Some of them she kept to herself. And some of them could get Michael Kelly killed. The Governor's Wife is a hard-eyed look at the intersection of the political and the personal, at the perils of trusting even those closest to us and the collateral damage of our highest aspirations.
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It's been two years since disgraced Illinois governor Ray Perry disappeared from a federal courthouse in Chicago moments after being sentenced to thirty-seven years in prison for corruption. P.I. Michael Kelly gets an anonymous e-mail offering to pay him nearly a quarter of a million dollars if he will find Perry, no questions asked. So Kelly's investigation begins with the woman Ray Perry left behind - his wife, Marie.

Author Notes

Michael Harvey is a writer, journalist, and documentary producer. He is the co-creator, writer and executive producer of the Prime Time Emmy-nominated television series Cold Case Files¿ and a former investigative producer for CBS in Chicago.

Harvey's work has won numerous national and international awards, including multiple Emmys and an Academy Award nomination for the Holocaust documentary Eyewitness.

Michael's novels include The Innocence Game, We All Fall Down, The Third Rail, The Fifth Floor, The Chicago Way, and The Governor's Wife.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Reviewed by Richard A. Lupoff. PI Michael Kelly, Harvey's Chicago ex-cop, is back in this tightly written page-turner. With Illinois's real ex-governor Rod Blagojovich impeached, removed from office, convicted by a federal jury on corruption grounds, and sent to the slammer, it may have been inevitable that a crime novel would be inspired by (if not entirely based on) this sensational case. It's fortunate that a writer as highly qualified and skillful as Harvey is the one to write it. The ex-governor in Harvey's version, however, is not behind bars. Rather, having been convicted and facing 30 years in the penitentiary, he leaves the courtroom with his wife, enters an elevator-and simply disappears. Enter Kelly. Hired by an anonymous client to find the missing ex-governor, Kelly enters an ever-deepening world of swirling emotions, corruption, and ultimately violence. The Governor's Wife is deeply rooted in Chicago: its neighborhoods, its ethnic communities, its politics. Harvey creates a cast of vivid characters, including the eponymous and seemingly ice-cold wife, her old-style ward-heeler father, the governor's alleged paramour, Kelly's closest cop friend, and his contact at a major Chicago daily. Harvey uses standard hard-boiled characters and situations, perhaps in a deliberate nod to his many forerunners (especially Nelson Algren) and possibly with his tongue ever so slightly in his cheek. But the book is replete with surprises. Every time the reader turns the page and thinks he knows what he's going to encounter, there's Harvey waiting to wallop him with a sandbag. And for all the hard-bitten grittiness of this book, Harvey is capable of writing with touching tenderness. Consider this paragraph: "I put on some music and we settled on the couch. Karen [a woman Kelly has brought home to his apartment] scooted close, and I put my arm around her. The music was Elvis Costello. Mellow Elvis. I listened to him sing about a girl named Alison and thought about one named Rachel [Kelly's ex-wife]. Then I thought about the one beside me. I could feel the rise and fall as her breathing slowed. When the music was finished, I got up carefully. Karen mumbled something and curled up on my couch. I got some blankets out of the closet and slipped a pillow under her head. Then I turned off the lights. I called to Mags [Kelly's dog], but she was laid out on the floor and not moving. I made my way back to my room and crawled into bed. The night was mostly quiet. I listened to the traffic below and the wind in the trees until I fell asleep." Reread that paragraph. Just when you think Harvey's PI is about to bed a new sweetie-surprise, he doesn't! Harvey does that: he surprises you. Repeatedly. As for the requisite crime and its solution, they are bafflingly complex and ingeniously resolved. Read this book. You'll enjoy it a lot. Richard A. Lupoff's most recent books are Rookie Blues (a novel) and Writer, Vol. 1 & 2 (collected nonfiction). © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. When Illinois Gov. Raymond Perry is sentenced to prison for fraud and racketeering, he enters an elevator in Chicago's Dirksen Building and disappears. Soon afterward, PI and ex-cop Michael Kelly gets an anonymous email offering him $200,000 to find Perry, no questions asked. Naturally, he begins with Mrs. Perry, an enigma who fears that her husband is dead. Further probing, with help from a cop friend, leads to a mysterious construction conglomerate where Kelly is violently warned off. It appears that a shadowy political cabal is behind a decades-long skimming of road construction funds with the governor so much involved that $60 million has gone missing with him. The ruthless pols are eliminating anyone involved while they pressure Kelly to find the money. VERDICT Harvey, a journalist and cocreator of TV's Cold Case Files, knows Chicago like Raymond Chandler knew Los Angeles, and these mean streets come alive even as bodies pile up. Wisecracking Kelly continues asking questions while keeping a gun handy. Following his stand-alone The Innocence Game, Harvey returns to his PI series (We All Fall Down) with a tale that gains power with its familiar city and political scenes, but it's the characters and action, often shifting, brutal, and surprising, that will keep readers enthralled and willfully suspending disbelief. [See Prepub Alert, 12/15/14.]-Roland Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



chapter 1 My laptop is set up so a tiny black box flashes in the corner of the screen every time I get an e-mail. The alerts arrive like an endless parade of crows, pecking away at me with people I don't want to talk to and problems I'd rather ignore. I don't know how my Mac got programmed to do this and have no idea how to stop it. So I live with my birds. The one that hired me fluttered in at 2:14 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon. I took one look at the subject line and clicked through to read the rest.   Mr. Kelly,   Would like to retain you to find Raymond -Perry. Use any and all means at your disposal to accomplish same. Global search okay. Money, no object. If you are willing to take the job, please hit reply to this message. A $100,000 retainer will be wired into an account set up for you. Another $100,000 will be wired when you locate Mr. -Perry. A separate fund for expenses will also be established and replenished as needed. Details on accounts, etc. will be forwarded upon acceptance of the terms of employment.   I'm sure there's a manual somewhere that sets out the guidelines for when and how private investigators should take on new cases. Knowing the name of your client would seem to be a necessity. When the proposed retainer hits six figures, however, necessity becomes a somewhat elastic concept, and guidelines tend to get tossed out the window. Be that as it may, the money wasn't what did it for me. Don't get me wrong. The cash caught my eye. In fact, there might have been a moment or two of involuntary drool at the prospect of two hundred K sitting in a bank account with my name on it. But the reason I hit reply was not the money. Really. It was the name. Raymond ­Perry. As I waited for my newest client to get back to me with particulars such as account numbers and wiring instructions, I plugged ­Perry's name into Google. I knew the story. Hell, everyone knew the story. Still, it made for good reading. I brewed myself a pot of coffee and caught up on Illinois's former governor and convicted felon. I started with the FBI's "Most Wanted" list and ­Perry's mug shot residing, as it had been for the past year and a half, in slot number one. Excerpted from The Governor's Wife by Michael Harvey All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.