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Widowed of the wife who provided one of his few tethers to anything like a normal life (Dark Matter, 2012, etc.), a disgraced Toronto police detective gets into the line of fire among a biker gang, their ailing chief executive and the hit man determined to shake them all up.

Steve Nastos’ old partner Karen Grant, who was also bounced from the force, is working on an exposé for the Toronto Tribune that’s taken her into some pretty dark places. But not as dark as the final destination of Rob Walker, an accountant-turned-informant-turned-corpse in Trinity Bellwoods Park. Worried that her second source for the story, prostitute/addict Ann Falconer (nee Martina Svobadova), may be headed down the same road, Karen asks Nastos and Kevin Carscadden, the lawyer who’s his partner in a private detective agency, for help. That turns out to be too late for Falconer, who runs out of Karen’s apartment and into big trouble. Nastos’ involvement, however, puts him in the middle of the action when the Devil Dogs Motorcycle Club’s murderous president, Angelo Moretti, whom Falconer was slated to testify against, hires professional killer Vince Druer to teach his son Christian the fundamentals of the business and Vince, who senses that his days in Toronto are numbered, decides that it would be more lucrative and interesting to set his would-be allies against each other. Constables Jake Radix and David Morrison, a pair of crooked cops who seem to be auditioning for Joseph Wambaugh’s LAPD, keep the pot boiling until the climactic last-man-standing shootout at the Boom Boom Room.

The atmosphere is suitably noir, the dialogue tough and the characters hard-bitten to a fault, though you do keep wondering who’s on first.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-77041-007-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: ECW Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2013


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