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Thomas J. Keevers

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Thomas J. Keevers, a former homicide detective with the Chicago Police Department and now trial lawyer is the author of three books in the P.I. Mike Duncavan Mystery Series: What the Hyena Knows, Music Across the Wall and The Chainsaw Ballet.

Booklist Music Across The Wall said, “In this solid mystery debut, Chicago's streets and neighborhoods are described by one who knows them well--Keevers is a former homicide detective with the Chicago Police Department. His flawed hero, Mike Duncavan, has been rejected by almost everyone: two ex-wives, the police department, and the Chicago Bar Association. About all that's left is PI work and staring at girls walking under his downtown office window.   With his hot temper and fondness for Stolie on the rocks, Duncavan is a disaster waiting to happen--and you don't have to wait too long. While  investigating the death of a Polish immigrant murdered in an abandoned building in the notorious Cabrini-Green housing project, Duncavan stumbles into a deeper mystery involving the occult.”

One reader of Music Across The Wall said, “In Chicago, Private Investigator Mike Duncavan blames himself for the failures of his life as he recognizes that he made colossal mistakes. He cheated on his first wife who finally divorced him though she believes that she will always be married to him. He should never have married his second wife, who also divorced him. The Chicago Police Department fired him and now he is barred from practicing law. Financially he is a wreck. Emotionally, he wants his first wife back.

Septuagenarian attorney Artemus Shumway hires Mike to investigate the murder of Tadeusz Bartodzice, a Polish father of six, in a building where a working class Eastern European immigrant had no reason to be five years ago. Robbery was ruled out because his money and credit cards were left behind. On the day before civil suits can expire, the Bartodzice family sued the building's owner Moses Watson for wrongful death. The legal twist is that Mike has only fifteen days to learn why Tadeusz was where he was and any other related matter.

MUSIC ACROSS THE WALL is a superb private investigative tale with powerful insight into the Illinois civil legal system. The story line moves at a rapid pace except when Mike mentally kicks himself for his errors. Mike is a great protagonist, though he seems to be a more knowledgeable lawyer than the plot's other attorneys. His inquiries are fun to follow and the case makes for a delightful thriller that readers will value and want more novels starring Iron Mike making the rounds of Chicago.”

According to the book description of What The Hyena Knows, “You might think that P.I. Mike Duncavan, disgraced ex-cop and disbarred lawyer, would have little pride left - but pride was one of the deadly sins that brought him down in the first place. So when his friend, criminal lawyer Stanley Janda, asks Mike for help in defending an accused child killer, he has some serious qualms. Janda's client, Justin Ambertoe, a gay freelance photographer, was seen loitering near the scene of the crime, an abandoned building in a Chicago ghetto, about the time the little boy was murdered. Out of loyalty to his friend, Mike takes the case, but as the investigation proceeds, the State's evidence against Ambertoe mounts, and so do Mike's own doubts about his client. Maybe Ambertoe really is the killer. But if pride has been Mike's downfall, persistence is his strength. Doggedly following a few feeble leads, he eventually uncovers a scheme so bizarre, so diabolical, that no one - not the police, not the prosecutor, not even his own ex-partner - will believe him. The sweep of Mike's investigation takes him through Chicago's seedy back streets, to a west Texas game ranch where African animals are bred for "hunting," to a South African village where witchcraft flourishes and ritual sacrifice is routine. In a deadly cat-and-mouse game, Mike becomes as much quarry as hunter, and wonders whether the forces he's battling might even be supernatural. A Chicago native, Thomas J. Keevers is a trial lawyer and former homicide detective with the Chicago Police Department.”

One reader of What The Hyena Knows said, “He was a Chicago cop who was fired after he was shot by the husband of the woman he was sleeping with. He became a lawyer who was disbarred by the Illinois legal board when he attacked a judge and an opponent for calling him a liar. When he continued to womanize his wife finally left him. Mike Duncavan is trying to regain what his pride cost him starting with his professional life and he hopes one day his first spouse. He works as a legal investigator taking whatever crumbs lawyers sends his way.

Attorney Stanley Janda, a former cop who met Mike in night school, hires him to find evidence that will exonerate his client photographer Justin Ambertoe, accused of abducting five year old Reggie Brookin. Mike wonders why a gay white man would be in the ghetto even to take pictures of abandoned property. As he interviews the neighbors, he realizes that Stanley's client is hiding something and may be lying beyond the omission, but for some reason believes the man is innocent. When he learns about the African David Akiby, he begins finding loose strings that tie together including seeing a hyena in the park to the Mesquite Bend Ranch in Texas, but the min question remains unanswered: why the kidnapping and probable murder of a child?

If it was not for Mike's uncanny skills to recognize animals this sleuth tale would be a typical sub-genre tale of a rising superstar falling down to the lowest rung and trying to make it back. In Many ways Mike is a flawed Shakespearean tragic figure whose flaws lead to his downfall. The who-done-it is fun to follow though the ties between Chicago, Texas, and Africa seem nebulous at best but his ex explains his abilities so that the link seems plausible. Fans of interesting private investigative tale will want to learn WHAT THE HYENA KNOWS.”

Five Star First Edition Mystery - Music Across The Wall (Five Star First Edition Mystery)
Thomas J. Keevers  More Info

Five Star First Edition Mystery - What The Hyena Knows (Five Star First Edition Mystery)
Thomas J. Keevers  More Info

The Chainsaw Ballet (Five Star Mystery Series)
Thomas J. Keevers  More Info

According to the book description of Music Across The Wall, “Thomas J. Keevers makes an assured debut in this tough look at broken lives and lost hopes in the inner city, featuring a new private eye hero with guts and baggage to spare. P.I. Mike Duncavan is twice divorced, an ex-cop, and a disbarred lawyer. Hired by defense counsel to look into the murder of a "solid family guy," Mike is up against a hard deadline, with only fifteen days to conduct his investigation. Among the many unanswered questions: What was the deceased doing in the building in the first place? If he was killed in a robbery, why was his wallet left behind? With very little to go on, Duncavan follows a trail of cryptic clues, risking his life and what's left of his reputation, leading to an unlikely killer with the most likely motive.”

One reader of The Chainsaw Ballet said, “In Chicago, three Serbian immigrants opened up Club Belgrade. They took out million dollar insurance policies on each other. Two of them (Milan Krunic and Uri Simunick) have since been murdered and the survivor Stepan Vasil has received payment, but has not stopped the policy, which seems odd to Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Minnesota Mutual Agent Orson Prescott hires private investigator Mike Duncavan to learn why Stepan has not ended the insurance policy as he has no partners to claim the insurance if he dies. Mike visits Club Belgrade where he meets bartender Eva, who he is attracted to but fears is working 24/7 for her employer. As Mike keeps digging for a motive, he begins to find proof of unsavory illegal practices involving international sex slave sales; an angry Stepan knows the former cop has found evidence that could lead to jail time so he plans to take Duncavan out of circulation with the help of police officers who owe him.

The third hard boiled Duncaven detective tale (see WHAT THE HYENA KNOWS) is an exhilarating investigative thriller starring a fired street cop turned disbarred lawyer turned private sleuth who knows the mean streets of Chicago as well as anyone does. The story line is fast-paced even before Mike makes the scene at the Club Belgrade. Action-packed with confrontations the norm, fans will be hooked wondering why Vasil continues to pay for partnership insurance when his partners are dead.”

About the Chicago Police Department

On January 31, 1835, the State of Illinois authorized the Town of Chicago to establish its own police force.  On August 15, Orsemus Morrison is elected Chicago's first constable, assisted by Constables Luther Nichols and John Shrigley. The three-man police force serves and protects a population of about 3,200. The Police Department pre-dates Chicago as a city.


Today, the Chicago Police Department is the second largest in the United States, serving approximately 2.9 million residents within the 228 square miles that constitutes the City of Chicago.  The Chicago Police Department had, at the end of 2005, 13,323 sworn police officers and over 2,000 civilian personnel.


The Chicago Police Department is divided into 25 police districts.  Each district has between 9 and 15 police beats, with a total 281 beats throughout the city of Chicago. Each of the 25 police districts is led by a district commander who, in addition to uniformed police officers, has teams of undercover tactical and gang police officers at his or her disposal.  The Chicago Police Department Districts are organized into five larger organization entities called Areas.  These area commanders report to the Bureau of Patrol.


In addition to the Bureau of Patrol, the Chicago Police Department has four other bureaus: Bureau of Investigative Services; Bureau of Strategic Deployment; Bureau of Crime Strategy and Accountability; and, the Bureau of Administrative services.  Instead of a Chief of Police, the Chicago Police Department has a Superintendent of Police; and, the Bureau commanders hold the rank of Deputy Superintendent.

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