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Giles Blunt

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No Such Creature (2008)
By the Time You Read This (2006)
Blackfly Season (2005)

The Delicate Storm (2002)
Forty Words for Sorrow (2000)

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No Such Creature

Tooling across the American southwest in their giant Winnebago, Max and his nephew, Owen, seem harmless enough, the actorly old fellow spouting Shakespeare like a faucet while his young charge trots him through select tourist destinations along the road. But appearances, as you might imagine, can be deceiving.

Old Max is actually a master thief, and young Owen's summer vacation is his careful apprenticeship in a life of crime. Pulling heists is scary enough, but ominous signs point to the alarming fact that The Subtractors are on their tail, criminal bogeymen who stop at nothing to steal from other thieves. The road trip soon turns into a chase, by turns comic and horrifying. The most disturbing twist: Owen's slow realization that the person he loves most in the world is the one who can do him the most harm.

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By the Time You Read This

In this eagerly awaited new novel from Canada’s king of crime, Detective John Cardinal faces his most personal case yet.

For years, John Cardinal’s wife, Catherine, has battled severe depression. People are saddened when she finally takes her own life, but they are not really surprised. Cardinal, of course, is devastated. Despite the suicide note in Catherine’s own handwriting and the coroner’s finding that there is no evidence of foul play, Cardinal cannot bring himself to believe that Catherine has really killed herself.

When hateful notes about his wife’s death begin to arrive in the mail, he begins to suspect murder – perhaps revenge from one of the many criminals he has put away over the years. But because the police have not opened a case, he is forced to investigate on his own. Even his longtime colleague Lise Delorme can’t help him – she’s wrapped up in a nasty case of her own.

Cardinal enlists the help of Catherine’s psychiatrist to help him figure out who is behind the notes. And as he investigates further, he uncovers an alarming rash of suicides in Algonquin Bay – far more than would seem natural for such a small city. Is it possible that they are, in fact, murders?

“I’m acting, Cardinal thought. I’m acting like a man having a conversation. This is how it’s done: you listen, you nod, you ask a question or two, but I’m not here. I’m not even alive. I’m as gone as the World Trade Center. Catherine is dead. My heart is ground zero.” –From By the Time You Read This

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Blackfly Season

It’s summer in Algonquin Bay and the black flies are driving people mad, including Detective Cardinal and his partner Lise Delorme. A young woman has wandered into a local bar without any money, keys, ID or memory. The reason: a bullet lodged in her brain. Suspicious of her true identity, Cardinal’s investigation draws him towards Red Bear, a mysterious shaman who is enlisting the aid of the spirit world to gain control of the Algonquin drug trade. In return the "spirits" are demanding sacrifice - human sacrifice and Cardinal may be next.

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The Delicate Storm

The gruesome discovery of a human arm—minus the hand—in a backyard in Algonquin Bay is assumed to be the work of bears. Until the search for body parts leads detectives Cardinal and Delorme to a remote trapper’s cabin that has served as an abattoir for a cold-blooded human predator. Until the woods give up a second body, naked and shrouded in ice. NP John Cardinal is less than thrilled when the first victim is identified as a US citizen and the Mounties are called in to assist. It’s the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, however, that poses the real problem. Is their interference merely a question of preserving jurisdiction over cases involving terrorism—or something more sinister?

Even the elements seem to conspire against the police, with Northern Ontario in the grip of an ice storm of once-in-a-hundred-years severity. The woods take on a glittering, lethal beauty, the eerie silence broken only by the crash of falling branches and power lines. And against this backdrop Cardinal comes face to face with a killer.

The Delicate Storm received the 2004 Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada. It was also nominated for the Dashiell Hammett Award for literary excellence in the field of crime writing by the North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers; a Macavity Award by the members of Mystery Readers International; an Anthony Award for Best Novel by Bouchercon 2004; and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

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Forty Words for Sorrow

When four teenagers go missing in the small northern town of Algonquin Bay, the extensive police investigation leads nowhere. Everyone is ready to give up except Detective John Cardinal, a loner whose persistence only serves to get him removed from the Homicide Department. Haunted by a criminal secret in his own past and hounded by a special investigation into corruption on the force, Cardinal is on the brink of losing his career—and his family.

When the mutilated body of thirteen-year-old Katie Pine is pulled out of an abandoned mineshaft, only Cardinal is willing to consider the horrible truth: that this quiet town is home to the most vicious of serial killers. With pressure bearing down on him from the media, the provincial police and his own department, 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.

Forty Words for Sorrow was awarded the Macallan Silver Dagger for fiction in 2001.

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