A hard-boiled shamus done Canadian style.
Nurse Cindy Palmer, of the big heart and “incredibly slim hips,” says Calgary ex-cop Eddie Dancer, is clearly “one of the good guys.” Cindy meets Eddie when he turns up at Rockyview Hospital shepherding a comatose, underage hooker. Cindy sees a sad but obvious case of substance abuse. Eddie demurs. He thinks young Angie’s condition is somehow connected to a pair of thuggish tattoo-artists named Len and Doug, and he’s right. Len and Doug are the tip of an iceberg of conspiracies run out of the Barbary, Calgary’s hardest-time prison. Though fast-talking, fast-shuffling Eddie is one of those gumshoes who’d rather score a wisecrack than win the lottery, he can usually take care of himself—but not this time. Up against vicious, venal Jackson Varney, the warden from hell, he soon realizes that he’s in over his head. Fortunately, he’s not alone. If Spenser has Hawk, Eddie has Danny Two Guns, and neither has yet seen the day when a bottom-feeder, or an army of them, couldn’t be eaten for breakfast.
A lively first novel, even if Harrison isn’t quite up to all that Robert B. Parker stuff.