When Hurricane Hazel tore through Toronto on October 15, 1954, it left its mark on both the city and its inhabitants. In the aftermath, a young cop named Ray Townes emerges as a hero?numerous accounts detail the way he battled the raging Humber River to save those trapped in their homes?and his story is featured prominently in the newspapers, thrusting him into the spotlight as a local celebrity. Meanwhile, his wife Mary is wrestling with doubts about her husband’s heroism. While performing her own miracles the night of the storm as a nurse at a mud-filled, overcrowded emergency room, Mary met a woman?disoriented and near death?with a disturbingly peculiar recollection of events. While Mary tries to shake her suspicions about Ray as they rebuild their life in the shell-shocked city, she can't help but wonder about her husband and that fateful night. When a reporter comes knocking 50 years later to revisit that horrendous night, the truth begins to surface and threatens to destroy them.
Mark Sinnett is the author of The Border Guards, Bull, The Landing, and Some Late Adventure of the Feelings. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.
"Mark Sinnett could not have invented a more Canadian, more Ontario, more Toronto setting for his remarkable novel." “Literary Review of Canada
"One of those rare literate books that cares enough about the reader to provide a plot...Sinnett has made an original, terrifying portrait of Toronto's soul." “Eye Weekly
"I just couldn’t get enough...Sinnett creates such a vivid and honest picture of Ray and Mary’s world that reading the book feels something like looking over their shoulders during the course of their relationship." “
The Keepin' It Real Book Club (blog)
"Weds the pinprick domestic intimacy of Alice Munro with the flop-sweat extra-marital intrigue of James M. Cain." “Toronto Star
"A cleverly constructed and evocatively written novel." “Booklist Online
"Sinnett keeps the pages turning with many twists and turns, while peppering the text with nice turns of phrase....Sinnett's meticulous research captures what the sights, sounds and smells of 1954 Toronto might have been like....This book is for those who want thoughtful prose and fallible characters with their plot....A reader of any age will find lots of action in The Carnivore on which to gnaw." “GlobeandMail.com