Review by K. Robert Einarson

Matthew Worth is a man with problems. Living in the shadow of his dead hero brother, his career as a cop hits a new low when he demoted to night patrol at a supermarket with a history of robberies. He lost his wife to a hotshot homicide cop; his commanding officer has almost written him off, his fellow officers think he is a joke. His only moments of happiness are when he works with Gwen, the troubled cashier who he thinks he might be in love with. One night though, she begs him to come over to her apartment and help her with her now deceased abusive boyfriend. Worth decides to help cover up the crime and starts a series of events that could cause him to lose everything that matters to him.

This book came to my attention a few months ago when it was recommended by a number of people I knew. I decided to check it out to see why they were so excited about it. When I finished the last page, I knew why.

The Cleanup is a well-crafted thriller that introduces the character of Matthew Worth, an every man whose poor decision one night turns his life upside down. Doolittle has created a main character that was realistic and authentically flawed and a cast of well-developed interesting supporting characters. The story twisted and turned up to the end with the classic elements of noir yet with warmth to the characters that adds an additional dimension to the story.

Doolittle has created a top-notch and mature novel that is well worth checking out. Who knew Omaha could be so nasty?

If you have not heard of him yet, you will soon enough with work of this caliber.


Kevin Einarson is the publisher of Spinetingler Magazine. His short fiction has appeared in Mouth Full of Bullets, Flashing in the Gutters and Spinetingler.

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