Just when Vancouver commercial photographer Tom McCall thought he’d got his life back on track, a complete stranger shows up dead on the roof deck of his floating home. No one seems to know who he is, he has no ID, and there’s not a mark on him. If that isn’t bad enough, a prospective new client seems to have had one Botox injection too many, his ex-wife wants to take his daughter off to Australia for a year; and someone’s leaving mutilated dolls on his front step.
And, of course, he’s in lust again.
No wonder he’s feeling a little overexposed.
Michael Blair is a freelance technical writer/editor living in Montreal. Overexposed is his third mystery, a sequel to If Looks Could Kill, a finalist for the 1999 Chapters/Robertson Davies Prize and shortlisted for the 2001 Quebec Writers Federation First Book Prize. His second mystery, A Hard Winter Rain, was published by Dundurn in 2004.
This sequel to If Looks Could Kill is even better: funny, fast and smart...
Blair has a great eye for the small details of place, and his view of Vancouver is a delight. McCall and gang are terrific characters who really click in this slick, smart book.
This is a Granville Island mystery, and Overexposed is a very nifty little thriller and mystery, from a most intelligent voice in Canadian writing. Michael Blair is not new to the writing game, having been a finalist in 1999 for the Chapters/Robertson Davies Prize for If Looks Could Kill.
Overexposed has been noted as a sequel to If Looks Could Kill, and it keeps the same frantic pace and tension as the original. Tom McCall a photographer in Vancouver, happens to find a corpse on the roof of his floating home. The man has no identity it seems, as no one knows him or where he came from.
This is the beginning of the puzzle, and mixed with this, he is dealing with clients who are not too sociable, and just when he thinks life is sane, there are the mutilated dolls showing up at his door. Can the world get any more insane? Just wait and see!
Michael Blair is back with his second Tom McCall yarn. With any luck (reinforced by publisher Dundurn labeling the series Granville Island Mysteries) mayhem will soon be as familiar to owners of small Vancouver businesses as over-demanding clients and meeting the bi-weekly payroll...
Blair lives in Montreal but he evokes his west-coast location with the clarity of someone who longs to be there, at least through winter. As a freelance technical writer, he is particularly skilled at describing the subtle strategies of operating a small business, but the book's main strength is as a funny and solid entertainer, crisply written and eagerly read.
...there's never a dull moment, but somehow the dead stranger haunts him and the houseboat. Other strangers keep showing up to grill McCall about the episode, and soon unexpected links begin to appear...
It's a mixed up tale but a pretty good read, strengthened by solid roots in its setting. McCall seems like a good guy to know.
Lots of action, lots of suspense and well drawn characters you'll enjoy following as they move through the story. Talented author Michael Blair has written a winner, a book sure to please any mystery fan. Highly recommended. Enjoy. I sure did.
There is maximum suspense, minimal blood and gunplay, all without a soaring body count.
If Overexposed seems more lifelike, more genuine and less contrived than any number of bloodthirsty American mystery novels, it is. An astonishingly good read.
Can't wait for more from Michael Blair.
Overexposed is Blair's follow-up to the Chapters/Robertson Davies Prize-nominated If Looks Could Kill, which I enjoyed very much. Overexposed, his third mystery, is possibly better. McCall is a likeable character, a man struggling to make a living and to maintain contact with his daughter despite the fact that she lives halfway across the country...
The plot seems simple at first, but it soon develops into something far more twisted and complex. The main plot, that of identifying the dead man on Tom's roof and learning how he died, morphs into a dangerous game involving stolen diamonds, with a sidebar on drug smuggling. A subplot begins mostly as a romantic diversion, but it too turns into something criminal... It's this organic growth that holds the reader's interest. That, and Blair's sense of humour. (***** out of 5)
Using locations that include Granville Island, Sea Village, Bridges Pub, Harbour Ferries Marina and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Michael Blair's third mystery novel, Overexposed (Dundurn, 2006) concerns a commercial photographer who wakes with a hangover to discover women's underwear in his dishwasher and a corpse on the roof of his floating home. Blair's preceding mysteries are If Looks Could Kill and A Hard Winter Rain. He lives in Montreal.
Blair keeps all the threads neatly untangled until the dnouement, which is satisfying - and very Canadian. His workmanlike prose never gets in the way of the story, and he has a deft way with dialogue. One can only hope that there are more Tom McCall stories in the works.
This sequel to if Looks Could Kill is even better; funny, fast and smart.
The best part of this sequel (to If Looks Could Kill) is the main character who comes across as the typical good-guy Canadian--strong, quiet and smart. That and Blair's strong writing style create a winning combination.