The mayor of Chicago is found in his office late at night, sitting in his boxer shorts, facedown dead in a pizza. The mayor was a hero and a rascal: dynamic, charming, ingenious, corruptible, and a masterly manipulator. The city mourns. But it’s discovered that the mayor was murdered–shortly after he may have begun to squeal on some of his colleagues at City Hall. Over the next four days, police race to find the mayor’s killer, while the politicians who bemoan his passing scramble for his throne.
At the center is Sundaran “Sunny” Roopini, forty-eight, alderman of the Forty-eighth Ward, and vice-mayor. Sunny is an Indian immigrant, a restaurant owner, and a recent widower. He is getting tired of politics and wants to hold on just long enough to do the best for his two restive teenage daughters. But as acting interim mayor for a few days, Sunny must deal with forty-nine other aldermen who have their own clashing ambitions.
How will Sunny do what’s best for both his family and city in a time of crisis?
As The Last Hurrah embodied urban politics for a previous generation, Windy City captures politics in the multiethnic tumult of today’s big city, where a stalled subway raises fears of a terrorist attack and smoke-filled rooms are abolished by no-smoking statutes. The story takes a raft of colorful characters–pinky-ringed pols, pious reformers, money-grubbers, and wheeler-dealers of every creed, color, and proclivity–through City Hall corridors, neighborhood restaurants and clubs, weddings, sex scandals, gospel churches, police stations, and sting operations to deliver an ending that is unexpectedly noble.
Windy City is a roller coaster of a novel that dips and soars through the amusement park of politics. With echoes of Primary Colors and Thank You for Smoking, Windy City will win votes as the best political novel in many years. Its personal story–about a flawed, decent man thrust suddenly under hot lights–will also win hearts.