Crime Machine: A John Cardinal Mystery
Random House, 2010 (2010)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
is the fifth in Giles Blunt's award winning series (that began with
Forty Words for Sorrow
), starring insightful Canadian police detective John Cardinal, who lives and works in Northern Ontario's fictional town of Algonquin Bay, the
Gateway to the North
s this story begins, Algonquin Bay hosts its annual fur auction. Cardinal is still grieving over the death of his beloved wife Catherine, whose murder he solved in
By the Time You Read This
. He has sold his lakeside home, moved into an unsatisfactory
, and spends a great deal of off duty time with his good friend and trusted colleague, Lise Delorme. On the job, he's been assigned a very cold case, that of the disappearance of the Scriver family, suspected victims of a drowning accident.
begins with a secretive liaison between married real estate agent Randall Wishart and feisty eighteen-year-old Native American artist Samantha Doucette at an empty lakeside bungalow that he's listed. Randall departs before Sam does and she takes a quick shower. Before she can close up and leave, a couple arrives with another
- who executes and beheads them. Sam escapes through a window and makes a run for it, pursued by the killer.
hough Randall persuades Sam not to go to cops, she makes an anonymous call. In the meantime, John Cardinal and Lise Delorme are on the case, soon joined by affable FBI agent Irv Mendelsohn. New York reporter Donna Vaughan helps them identify the victims as Lev and Irena Bastov, U.S. nationals of Russian extraction who are in the fur business. Donna tells Cardinal she is investigating the Russian mafia and fears for her life - their resulting relationship gets in the way of John and Lise's longstanding friendship.
ext, readers meet a modern Fagin, the self styled
, who leads his murderous, damaged children to the remote home of wealthy Lloyd Kreeger, which then becomes their base of operations. Blunt ties all these plot threads together (with a few shocking twists along the way) and then blasts them apart in a violent crescendo of a conclusion. Giles Blunt is easily Canada's top thriller writer today, holding his own with the best on the international scene - his
is another brilliant read, absolutely not to be missed!
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