back to top

Why Chicago Is The Perfect Place To Set A Crime Novel

When it comes to crime, corruption, and scandal, Chicago is never the second city.

Posted on

We Run on Corruption

Four of our last seven governors have been imprisoned, corrupt police officers are fired but still receive their pensions, and since alderman are protected from prosecution, they have no problem making decisions based on financial gain. But even our real-life villains aren't pure evil. After all, our garbage is still picked up every week.

We have plenty of settings.

Need to dispose of a body? The Chicago river is the perfect place. Have a character that needs to get away without being exposed? Head down to the pedway. Need a private meeting place that's dark and creepy? Try lower Wacker Drive. There are hundreds of locations around the city just waiting for a crime to happen there.

We Have the Weather

Looking for something to raise the stakes? All you need is some Chicago weather. From 100 degree day summers to blizzards and below zero temp winters, we have what you need to make things just a bit more miserable for your characters.

We have resources

Chicago cops love to talk about their jobs. Just head over to your nearest cop bar around 4pm, buy the boys in blue a drink. They'll talk your ear off about cases they've worked, people they've met, and things they've seen. By the end of the night, you'll have enough material to write a whole series.

We have Capone.

Chicago is known worldwide for its organized crime. Whether you're writing historical fiction or just need an idea for your next book, the crime families of Chicago will provide inspiration. Authors like Renee Rosen (DOLLFACE) and Jonathan Eig (GET CAPONE) have utilized this history for their books and there are plenty more to share.

We Support Our Own

Set a novel in Chicago and it's guaranteed to have an audience. From DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY to THE JUNGLE to O, DEMOCRACY! (author pictured above), we love any piece of entertainment set in the windy city. Why do you think Chicago Fire is still on the air?

Our Reality is Stranger than Fiction

View this video on YouTube

Hit a bout of writer's block? Need a sub-plot to fill out your story? All you have to do is watch the Chicago news. Plenty of weird, crazy things happen in our city every day.