McFetridge (Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, 2008, etc.) bundles love, lust, avarice, ambition, perfidy, betrayal and drug dealing north of the border, all drenched in noir.
Sunitha Suraiya has never doubted that she was meant for better things. She has no moral objection to massage parlors and prostitution; it’s just that the money isn’t there. The serious money she needs to get out of town, the kind of money she’s fantasized about forever, requires a secret master plan. Sunitha’s dreams of gold bullion dim, however, whenever she recalls who actually owns the gold—a Toronto drug lord who won’t give it up except to a heavy-duty alliance. While she dreams, Sunitha passes the time knocking over selected spas where rich white ladies can be counted on to furnish a welcome supply of ready cash and jewelry. That all ends with the arrival of Vernard “Get” McGetty, a tough, resourceful, battle-savvy Afghanistan vet. Get is powerfully drawn to smart, sexy Sunitha, who sees in him a qualified enabler. Meanwhile, the drug lords are jockeying for position in a way that gives hope to law-enforcement officers hungry for indictments. But can the cops trust each other? For that matter, can Sunitha trust her enabler? And can he trust her?
Though Sunitha’s story has to contend with too many subplots, it’s still a very good story.