The bestselling Gail Bowen returns with a gripping story of marriage, politics, sex, and murder.
With a general election just weeks away, Joanne Kilbourn is following the campaign of Ginny Monaghan, a woman who has her eyes set on the leadership of the federal Conservative Party and whose success depends, not so much on the election-day poll, but on the outcome of a custody battle she’s fighting with her ex. Joanne thinks this is perfect material for a TV program she’s putting together on women and party politics. Happy to be back in the political fray that used to be her life during her first marriage, Joanne is soon also glad of the distraction it provides. A local call girl has been murdered — a woman whose regular clientele included several of Regina’s most prominent lawyers, including — until he met Joanne — her own husband, Zach Shreve.
Her new marriage creaking under the strain of this revelation, Joanne throws herself into her project — and into finding out why the dead woman had started to threaten her clients with blackmail, an investigation that leads to the truth — and to death.
In The Brutal Heart, Bowen expertly mixes the ingredients of marriage, family, politics, and murder into a constantly surprising and compulsively readable story.
Gail Bowen’s Joanne Kilbourn mysteries have made her one of Canada’s most popular crime-fiction writers. The first book in the series, Deadly Appearances (1990), was nominated for the W.H. Smith—Books in Canada Award for best first novel. It was followed by Murder at the Mendel (1991), The Wandering Soul Murders (1992), A Colder Kind of Death (which won the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel of 1995), A Killing Spring (1996), Verdict in Blood (1998), Burying Ariel (2000), The Glass Coffin (2002), The Last Good Day (2004), and The Endless Knot (2006). Bowen has also written five plays that have been produced across Canada, and one, The World According to Charlie D, for CBC Radio. Recently retired from teaching at the First Nations University, Bowen lives in Regina.
“This is definitely one of her best Joanne Kilbourn novels.”
— Globe and Mail
“The Brutal Heart is highly enjoyable.”
— National Post
“The politics are particularly gripping.”
— Edmonton Journal
“It’s a compelling political thriller, as topical as the day’s headlines and compulsive reading. . . . The story culminates in a surprising, explosive ending.” — Kitchener-Waterloo Record
“The book does what better crime fiction always does — bring the evil that we would rather not look at up close to our own world.”
“A page-turning and enjoyable read.”
— Quill & Quire