Tiny Algonquin Bay, north of everything except snow, unfortunately has attracted some problems from big-city Toronto. Someone on the police force has been tipping off druglord/counterfeit credit-card kingpin Kyle Corbett about impending raids, and the brutalized body of Katie Pine, the first of three youngsters to go missing over the past year, has just been found embedded in a chunk of ice. Detective John Cardinal, who’s eager to be reassigned to the Pine case, gets saddled with Lise Delorme, whose six years with the Office of Special Investigation never brought her any hands-on murder experience. In fact, she seems as keen on investigating him for the Corbett leaks as on helping with the kids’ disappearances. While Lise is mounting a sting operation aimed at reeling in Cardinal for the Corbett infractions and the labs in Toronto are busy analyzing fingerprint and fiber evidence in the disappearances/murders, Keith London, a young tourist stopping in the area on his way west, vanishes, and the amiable, nonviolent town burglar is killed with animal ferocity. Dogged footwork leads Cardinal to an abandoned pump house—and a murderous confrontation—but it is Lise who must rescue him when he is gut-shot at his home days later by the distaff half of a serial-killer partnership.
Polished, at times poetic but more frequently horrific, and especially moving in dealing with Cardinal’s wife Catherine, hospitalized for depression. Former TV writer Blunt (Cold Eye, not reviewed) is a helluva storyteller, and his John Cardinal probably has a long career ahead of him.