The Main is the transverse dividing French and English Montreal and a lower form of humanity from a more privileged one. Harmless prostitutes and tramps have been put to bed every night by Lt. Claude La Pointe who's been walking the street for over thirty years. He's a man of heart and conscience not long for this world and uncertain of the next one since he lost his faith when he lost his young wife Lucille. Now he has an inoperable aneurysm and he lives alone with memories of Lucille and fantasies of the two little girls they might have had. Sometimes they fuse--say in the reality of a scrawny little hooker who works the street until he brings her home, mostly for company. Trevanian, twice popularly sanctioned with high-powered intrigues, Lop and Eiger, has written much more of a novel this time in which the crime is incidental--almost a concession to the noisy, coagulated activity of the street but especially the character of La Pointe. There has been a knifing of a young man and it is intermittently affiliated with a young woman who runs a language school with personal seminars for men on whom she expends a primal hostility against all of their sex. But it is La Pointe who gives the book its substance and tone--he's a gentler and more genuine kind of blue knight with a bruised humanity. You'll be sorry to see him go.