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Fiction Police Procedural

Flights and Falls

A B.C. Blues Crime Novel

by (author) R.M. Greenaway

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2019
Police Procedural, Traditional British, Urban Life
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2019
    List Price

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A string of incidents causes Cal Dion to learn some harsh truths about himself.

A single-vehicle crash on the Sea to Sky Highway is blamed on the notorious stretch of road — but when bad things start happening to the good people who stopped to help the victim, North Vancouver RCMP Constable Dave Leith starts to wonder if something darker is at play.

Leith and his partner, JD, work through clues that are as close to bizarre as they’ve ever seen. At the same time, Leith is keeping tabs on a murder suspect who is too close for comfort: Cal Dion, a cop and colleague, knows all about crime — and perhaps how to get away with it.

Dion is looking at a long fall from grace, but his mind is on the Sea to Sky killings, and he’s beginning to think the team is on the wrong track. Could it be that a crime from his turbulent past holds the key?

About the author

RM Greenaway has been a waitress and a darkroom technician, and also worked in probation. She travelled B.C. as a court reporter, and writes a crime series set in the province featuring the barely compatible RCMP detectives Cal Dion and David Leith. Her first novel, Cold Girl, won the 2014 Arthur Ellis Unhanged award. She lives in Nelson, B.C.

R.M. Greenaway's profile page

Excerpt: Flights and Falls: A B.C. Blues Crime Novel (by (author) R.M. Greenaway)

Chapter 1: Tony
November 26

Constable Ken Poole wasn’t at his station, and his desk was a mess. File folders in a slithering heap, Post-it memos stuck to other Post-it memos, a half-empty bag of nachos. Pens and bull-clips, and to top it off, a caped action figurine of some kind overlooked it all, hands on hips.

Still no sign of Poole. Dion’s eyes wandered from the action figure to the file folders, to the label on the topmost folder. It read, “Tony Souza.”

Souza was the mystery on everybody’s mind these days. Young, handsome, healthy, a new recruit on the North Shore and on the job for less than a month before taking sudden leave, right off the rail of a high bridge. Dion had been shocked by the news, and like everybody else, he wondered why the man had done it.


Back at his own neat desk, he dropped into his chair and tried to work. He couldn’t recall ever meeting Souza, and only knew his face from the photographs in the paper. Maybe he had seen the man in passing, a hello in the hall?

Curiosity drove him back to Poole’s desk. Using his knuckle, as if a light touch made the act less culpable, he lifted the folder’s manila cover, just to see, and clipped to the front leaf was a photocopy of Souza’s last words. One short paragraph.

Don’t worry about me. I have gone to a better place, it started.

At yesterday’s service, snatches of conversation had told Dion more about Souza than the eulogies did. Souza had broken from his family’s strict religious tradition, had shrugged off heaven and hell, simply wasn’t a church-going guy.

Dion read the rest of the note, and saw it contained anger: To mom and dad and Sonny, I’m sorry. To everybody else, I’m not. Sonny was Sonia, Tony’s sister. She had spoken at the service, saying her brother was much loved and would be missed. If she had any idea why Tony had ended his life, she hadn’t shared that knowledge. Nobody had.

Neither did anybody ask Dion to care — but how could he not? Death by suicide was always tragic. It was the crime that so oft en went unsolved. It was worrisome, too. What if the person had stepped into oblivion because they had stumbled upon the fundamental, bottom-line truth about the meaning of life, like a message in a bottle, and that truth was too awful to bear?

He shrugged. As pointless as it might be, he would go over the note in his mind for a while, as he lay in bed or ate breakfast or warmed up his car, trying to understand its incongruities. If Souza had found God, as the “better place” suggested, the discovery had not done much for him. The proof was in the fall. Souza blamed everybody but his immediate family for his unbearable pain, but Dion suspected that the everybody could be narrowed down to a somebody.

Still, Souza was not his brother, not his case, and none of his business, and his death would not haunt him for long. In these moments of pondering, though, he had to wonder if the new recruit blamed the force for his troubles. He wouldn’t be surprised.

Editorial Reviews

[R.M. Greenaway] has created a couple of cops, Cal Dion and Dave Leith, who stand out in a crowded crime fiction field for their absorbing personas.

Joan Barfoot, Kingston Whig-Standard

You could read Flights and Falls as a standalone, but I don’t think you would be able to fend off that book itch to read the rest of the series. I will be checking out the complete B.C. Blues crime series – you should too.

Trails of Tales blog

Other titles by R.M. Greenaway