A fisherman from the Canadian Northwest puts himself at risk when he tries to find his missing best friend.
Ollie Swanson and Doug Tarkenen grew up together in Sointula, a Finnish logging and fishing village on an island off Vancouver. Both more or less raised by the whole village, both injured in accidents, they don’t have very ambitious plans for entering the world at large until a well-conceived swindle sets them up for college, and life, if they don’t squander the proceeds. Ollie drops out, buys a shrimp dredger from a Japanese fisherman, marries the fisherman’s daughter and raises two sons. Doug follows his dream of being an investigative reporter and is busy making a name for himself at the Ottawa Times when he takes a three-month leave of absence. His jeep and overturned canoe are found at one of a series of connected lakes, but there’s no sign of him. When Ollie goes east in search of his friend, he finds among Doug’s possessions incriminating tapes of interviews with Gerry Steadman, a rich patron of the Conservative Party. Ollie is certain the tapes have something to do with Doug’s disappearance and with a committee he was apparently infiltrating on the trail of very big story. Irrefutable proof that his friend is dead pushes Ollie to follow up on the story, which leads him into a tangle of political corruption and corporate greed. Doug’s final dramatic act in life shows Ollie how to avenge his death in an offbeat thriller that shuttles from coast to coast and from past to present.
Burrows (The River Killers, 2011) provides a strong political agenda, a dry wit and a couple of antiheroes who evolve into men of determined integrity.