Vancouver’s streets are awash with unusually pure heroin. Addicts are dying like flies, but in this port city at the far end of the continent, junkies are a dime a baker’s dozen, and nobody’s counting. Then several dealers join the parade of the newly dead – and all of them worked for ancient crime kingpin Jake Cappalletti. The cops sniff a pattern.
Then there’s April. She was lap-dancing when she met Wayne. He swept her off her feet at the end of her shift, just as soon as he’d finished dumping her parasitic ex-boyfriend into the trunk of his Caddy. Part of Wayne’s appeal is his raw ambition. He intends to replace Jake.
April wants to be a contributing factor in her new man’s climb to the top. When the killing stops, Wayne’s going to need a fall guy, somebody to play multiple-murderer-for-a-day. So April kidnaps Lewis, a semi-successful con artist, and teaches him some very bad habits. Wayne’s so busy with murder and mayhem that he neglects April, and pretty soon she starts to believe she might be falling in love with Lewis.
But, as usual, she could be wrong.
Meanwhile, as the homicide squad engages in an intensive hunt for the most prolific killer in the city’s history, police detectives Jack Willows and Claire Parker have other – more personal – concerns. Willows, finally divorced, is free to marry Parker. But sometimes freedom’s just another word for plenty left to lose. Claire wants children; Jack already has two. As the investigation heats up, Willows believes that he and Parker won’t have time to spare for nagging domestic issues.
Like April, he could be wrong.
About Laurence Gough
Laurence Gough, who lives with his wife and two children in Vancouver, has written twelve Willows and Parker mysteries: The Goldfish Bowl, winner of an Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel from the Crime Writers of Canada; Death on a No. 8 Hook; Hot Shots, winner of an Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year; Serious Crimes; Accidental Deaths; Fall Down Easy; Killers; Heartbreaker; Memory Lane; Karaoke Rap; Shutterbug; and Funny Money. His international thriller, Sandstorm, won the Author Award (fiction) from the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters in 1991.
“With Laurence Gough and his series featuring Vancouver cops Jack Willows and Claire Parker…it’s fine to know you’re about the spend several hours in a world of delicious characterizations, fast, complex plots, and best and most important of all, writing as light and flaky as excellent pie crust.”
–London Free Press
“Laurence Gough is high on anyone’s list of the best authors in Canadian crime writing.”
–Globe and Mail
“[Gough’s] detailed, hardbitten novels have set a new standard in Canadian crime writing.”
“Gough has emerged as a master in the hard-boiled tradition.”
“[Gough’s]…murder mysteries are of the hard-boiled variety, but with a wickedly twisted brand of black comedy.…Wild and wingy rollercoaster rides.”
“Gough is one of the most inventively reliable bloodsmiths in the trade.”
–The Times (London)
“Gough is a real find.…For anyone into hard-boiled American fiction, try heading north of the border for a treat.”
“Gough’s work is laced with acid humour and tight-as-a-chokehold prose. If he lived in the U.S., he’d already be a superstar.”
–Daily Post (Liverpool)