Dark, atmospheric and terrifying psychological thriller set in a freezing Ontario winter: ‘Forty Words for Sorrow is brilliant’ Jonathan Kellerman
When four teenagers go missing in the small northern town of Algonquin Bay, the extensive police investigation comes up empty. Everyone is ready to give up except Detective John Cardinal, an all-too-human loner whose persistence only serves to get him removed from homicide. Haunted by a criminal secret in his own past and hounded by a special investigation into corruption on the force (conducted, he suspects, by his own partner), Cardinal is on the brink of losing his career – and his family.
Then the mutilated body of thirteen-year-old Katie Pine is pulled out of an abandoned mineshaft. And only Cardinal is willing to consider the horrible truth: that this quiet town is home to the most vicious of killers. With the media, the provincial police and his own department questioning his every move, Cardinal follows increasingly tenuous threads towards the unthinkable. Time isn’t only running out for him, but for another young victim, tied up in a basement wondering when and how his captors will kill him.
Evoking the Canadian winter and the hearts of the killers and cops in icily realistic prose, Giles Blunt has produced a masterful crime novel that rivals the best of Martin Cruz Smith and introduces readers to a detective hero whose own human faults serve to fuel his unerring sense of justice.
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‘Forty Words for Sorrow is brilliant – one of the finest crime novels I’ve ever read. Giles Blunt writes with uncommon grace, style and compassion and he plots like a demon. This book as it all – unforgettable characters, beautiful language, throat-constricting suspense’ Jonathan Kellerman
‘Intensely vivid characters, terrible crimes and a brutal deep-frozen landscape all prove beyond a reasonable doubt that cold nurtures good and evil as readily as heat…and that Giles Blunt is a really tremendous crime novelist’ Lee Child
‘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
‘A superior Canadian police procedural with an evocative sense of place: the frozen lakes and forests are as integral to the plot as the flawed detective … an impressive achievement’ Maxim Jakubowski, GuardianFrom the Publisher:
Winner of the Crime Writers' Association Silver Dagger Award 2001
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