For Joe Shoe, the return to his family home in north Toronto is more than just a trip down memory lane; it’s also a visit to a crime scene. No sooner has Shoe arrived in his old neighbourhood than he discovers that police are investigating a murder in the ravine near his home. And the murder victim is a man who lived in the neighbourhood 35 years earlier — and who moved away while still a suspect in a series of rapes that occurred in the very ravine in which he was ultimately murdered.
The police investigation, and Shoe’s own inquiries, becomes intensely personal, as old friends, girlfriends, and even family members seem to have a connection to the murder victim, and reasons to want him dead. Compelling, deeply emotional, and at times even disturbing, The Dells is an accomplished novel by one of Canada’s rising stars of crime fiction.
Michael Blair is a freelance technical writer/editor living in Montreal. The Dells is his fourth mystery, and the second in his Joe Shoe Mystery series. The first, A Hard Winter Rain, was published by Dundurn in 2004. His first book, If Looks Could Kill, was a finalist for the Chapters/Robertson Davies prize in 1999 and shortlisted for the 2001 Quebec Writers' Federation First Book Prize.
Michael Blair's latest novel, his fourth mystery and best book to date, has an exciting blend of dead bodies, decades-old secrets and unusual characters.
The unexpected twists and turns lead to a page-turning conclusion.
Complex, thoughtful and disturbing; this a is a good reminder that you may be able to go home again, but you just might not want to.
Shoe is a most likeable character and it is a pleasure to reminisce with him, until the truth is discovered and hist home. This is a good one.
Well-written and delivers an intriguing, satisfying experience ... Blair is a polished storyteller, poised to take his place among the best in Canada today.
... a powerful book about revenge, motives, and whether justice was served and why.
A tension filled, exciting read.
A meaty and accomplished novel.
In the past few years Michal Blair has matured into one of Canada's most accomplished crime writers, with a confident hand and a strong voice. The Dells is an insightful and evocative tale, with a tone reminiscent of Harper Lee's classic, To Kill a Mockingbird; I recommend it highly.
Michael Blair has a clean, compelling style, and this second appearance of Joe Shoe bodes well for more.