Madman On A Drum

Madman On A Drum

St. Martin's Minotaur
ISBN 0-312-37081-4

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The secret of a vicious kidnapping can be found in the childhood of P. I. Rushmore McKenzie and his lifelong friend, homicide cop Bobby Dunston, in the fifth book of this crime series, available May 13, 2008 in fine bookstores everywhere.

Homicide cop Bobby Dunston's daughter has been kidnapped, taken in broad daylight on a city street in the middle of September. The kidnappers demand a million dollars and force Dunston to get the ransom from his friend Rushmore McKenzie. It soon becomes apparent to both of them that one of the kidnappers is childhood pal Scottie, a once aspiring drummer now gone astray, and that the kidnapping is payback for "crimes" they committed in their past.

Of course McKenzie, a former cop and now unlicensed P.I., handles the ransom drop-off and the child is returned safely. But Scottie is soon brutally murdered (maybe that's Mac's fault and maybe it isn't) and someone takes out an open contract on McKenzie, using his own money to pay for it. Dodging attempts on his life from assassins of all shapes and sizes, McKenzie now has precious little time to uncover the mastermind behind it all if he's going to survive.


"*Hate, revenge and old-fashioned greed propel Edgar-winner Housewright's stellar fifth mystery to feature former St. Paul, Minn., cop Rushmore McKenzie (after 2007's Dead Boyfriends). When the older grade school-age daughter of McKenzie's old friend, St. Paul homicide chief Bobby Dunston, is kidnapped on her way home from school, the unlicensed PI gets on the case. Soon McKenzie is hurtling headlong through the Twin Cities' meanest streets with a $50,000 price on his head. Housewright's chivalric noir hero never fails to charm, whether mourning a St. Paul that's lost much of its colorful, if shady, past or busting a bestial dogfight entrepreneur out in the chilly countryside. Against a realistic Minnesota backdrop, this homage to Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer raises cutting questions about crime and punishment and today's price of friendship and loyalty. Of course, McKenzie knows it's all about money, but Housewright makes it so fresh and real it hurts."
--Publishers Weekly (Starred review)

"Housewright, an author who should be as well known as P.I. heavyweights like Robert Crais and Robert B. Parker, is an original, entertaining and completely engaging writer. I've enjoyed every book in this series about Mac MacKenzie, an unlikely millionaire who uses his money for good. He's the absolute epitome of the P.I. "White Knight" trope, but it surprisingly doesn't feel a bit like a gimmick. One of the strongest entries in the series, Madman is almost two novels in one - the first part concerns the kidnaping of Mac's goddaughter; the second part is the solving of the kidnaping, a crime tied to Mac's past. Both parts not only dovetail neatly, both are impossible to stop reading. Housewright's impressive command of character, plot and place (these are set in St. Paul, Minnesota) as well as a way with a quip should earn him a place at the table with Elvis and Spencer. If you haven't yet discovered him you're in for a treat."
--Aunt Agatha's Top 10 Plus 1 List for 2008

"In the fifth installation of David Housewright’s ongoing mystery series, former cop Rushmore McKenzie has every lowlife in the Twin Cities after him. When his best friend’s daughter is kidnapped, he is called on to produce the ransom—and deliver it. McKenzie gets the girl back, but when a $50,000 contract is put on his life, he finds himself dodging bullets. Housewright, who won an Edgar Allan Poe award for his first novel, Penance, in 1996, leaves no corner of the Twin Cities untouched by the ensuing chase. McKenzie’s subtle humor keeps the tension from boiling over, but don’t expect any breaks in the action."
--Minnesota Monthly

"This guy keeps getting better, and he started out of the chute by winning the Edgar® award for 1st novel, along with a Shamus nomination, for "Penance"... Eventually, Rushmore figures out who did it, the ransom is paid, and the girl is returned safely. The kidnappers suffer a bad fate, and I notice that I'm only about 2/3 done with the book. My first thought is "Oh Boy, there's more!" And is there ever. Buy this book. Read this book. Buy lots of copies for your friends. Throw open your windows and holler 'Buy David Housewright!'"”
--Crimespree Magazine

"MADMAN ON A DRUM confirms David Housewright's growing reputation as a master of the suspense-filled urban noir thriller."
--Book Loons Reviews

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