Giles Blunt grew up in North Bay, Ontario, and attended the University of Toronto. He now lives in New York with his wife and two cats. He has written scripts for Law & Order, Street Legal and Night Heat. He is at work on his next crime novel, The Glittering Wood, also set in the fictional town of Algonquin Bay, and featuring John Cardinal.
Blunt forgoes the shock and violence of his previous crime novel, Forty Words for Sorrow (winner of the British Crime Writers' Macallan Silver Dagger Award), in this standout sequel-though one might not think so after reading the grisly opening. Det. John Cardinal of the Algonquin Bay, Ontario, police force is called in to investigate the severed arm of a white male that has been dragged out of the woods by a neighborhood dog. After the remaining pieces of the body turn up and the man is identified as an American citizen, John and his French-Canadian partner, Lise Delorme, are immersed in a case that involves more bodies, a 30-year-old unsolved murder with ties to the violently separatist Quebec Liberation Front, and clashes among various law enforcement agencies, including the Mounties, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the local police. There are also the ordinary and extraordinary personal problems of the wonderfully drawn characters. Cardinal's wife is clinically depressed, and his father is sick. Lise's ethnicity does not help her win the trust of the locals. The novel's fascination lies not only in the meticulous unspooling of the plot, but in watching Cardinal and Delorme uncover the lattice of events linking the political clashes of the past and the covered-up crimes of the present. The detectives maneuver gingerly through a beautiful but dangerous landscape frozen beneath the weight of a once-in-a-century ice storm. In a genre where writers often compete to create vile, loathsome villains perpetrating outrageous crimes, Blunt stands as a master craftsman who shows us not only darkness, but also decency. (June 2) Forecast: A tame jacket won't help this noteworthy thriller, but word of mouth is sure to be strong. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
'This is the book I've been waiting for through twenty years of reviewing crime fiction. This is the first great Canadian crime novel. Giles Blunt has done for Canada's north what James Lee Burke did for Cajun Louisiana. With Forty Words for Sorrow, the Canadian crime novel finally comes of age' Margaret Cannon, Globe 'A taut and enthralling tale that is as dark as the Canadian winter setting is cold. Humane, intelligent and gripping, Forty Words for Sorrow is a haunting journey into the human heart in all its complexities' Val McDermid 'A fine debut that deserves to do well, and promises much from a talented new author' Jim Driver, Time Out 'This atmospheric account ... is extraordinary for its psychology and tensions. Giles Blunt manages to inhabit the minds of killer, victim and investigator alike, a feat that very few writers can manage. It moves his work to a different level' Jane Jakeman, Independent 'A highly professional tour-de-force: excellently plotted, with fleshed-out characters and a well-portrayed, interesting setting' TJ Binyon, Evening Standard 'This Canadian novel is as fine a police procedural as any written in the USA and doesn't rely on others for ideas -- it comes across as fresh as morning dew ... never less than fascinating throughout' Mark Timlin, Independent on Sunday
Following up his successful debut, Forty Words for Sorrow, Blunt scores again with a story also set in northern Ontario's Algonquin Bay and featuring detectives John Cardinal and Lise Delorme. When two bodies are found in the woods and a local doctor is murdered, Cardinal and Delorme's investigation leads them to an unsolved 30-year-old killing linked to Quebec terrorists. Are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police involved? What clues can be found in such far-flung places as Montreal and New York City? The plot races toward the finish line but not at the expense of the characters. What puts this book above the average tale of psychological suspense is the depth of Blunt's character study. We feel that these are real people; each is well rounded, and his or her links to other characters in the novel are explored in depth, as are their relations to the unique local culture. Recommended for public libraries.-Fred M. Gervat, Concordia Coll. Lib., Bronxville, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.