Someone walked up to Joe "Shoe" Schumacher’s best friend, Patrick O’Neill, in a Vancouver restaurant and shot him dead. It looks like a professional hit, but who wanted O’Neill dead? Was it, as police believe, a "settling of accounts"? Was it Victoria, O’Neill’s beautiful but damaged wife? Or was it O’Neill’s boss, industrialist William Hammond, with whom O’Neill had a falling-out and with whom Victoria had once had a short-lived affair? Former cop, chauffeur, and bodyguard Joe Shoe sets out to find Patrick’s killer, and along the way he uncovers dark secrets going back years -secrets some people will kill to keep.
A Hard Winter's Rain is Michael Blair's second mystery. His first, If Looks Could Kill, was a finalist in the 1999 Chapter's/Robertson Davies Prize and was shortlisted for the 2001 Quebec Writer's Federation First Novel Award. He lives in Montreal, where he works as a freelance technical writer and editor.
Good mysteries, especially good Canadian mysteries, are always welcome, especially on cold, winter days. The latest by Montreal author, Michael Blair, A Hard Winter Rain, is hard-hitting and punchy.
If you are a mystery fan, give it (A Hard Winter Rain) a try. Michael is fast becoming a name among Canadian mystery writers.
Michael Blair's If Looks Could Kill was an excellent debut. His second mystery, A Hard Winter Rain, builds on that start. It's a well-written, well-constructed story with a couple of good twists.
[A Hard Winter Rain] ... possesses great energy and makes good use of the gloomy Vancouver winter to reinforce the sense of darkness and corruption... Blair also creates much-needed comic relief in scenes peripheral to the main action, and has a gift for wry description. A Hard Winter Rain (is) an exciting and atmospheric mystery.