From critically acclaimed author Russell Wangersky, comes a dark, psychological thriller about a man named Walt, a grocery store cleaner who collects the shopping lists people leave in the store and discard without thought. In his fifties, abandoned, he says, by his now-missing wife Mary, Walt is pursued by police detectives unsatisfied with the answers he’s given about her disappearance.
Almost invisible to the people who pass him every day, the grocery lists he collects, written on everything from cancelled cheques to mortgage statements to office stationary, give him a personal hold over those who both ignore him and unwittingly disclose facets of their lives to him.
When a new cold case squad is formed in St. John’s to look into Mary’s disappearance, the detectives begin to realize that Walt may be involved in more than just his wife’s disappearance.
Set in modern-day Newfoundland, after reading Walt, you’ll be sure to never let your shopping list fall to the floor ever again.
About the author
Russell Wangerskyâ€™s most recent book, The Glass Harmonica, won the 2010 BMOWinterset Award and was longlisted for the Relit Awards. His previous book, Burning Down the House: Fighting Fires and Losing Myself won Canadaâ€™s largest non-fiction prize, the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the Rogers Communications Newfoundland and Labrador Non-Fiction Book Award and the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. It was also a finalist for theWriterâ€™s Trust Non- Fiction Prize and was a Globe and Mail Top 100 selection in 2008. His 2006 short story collection The Hour of Bad Decisions was long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was shortlisted for the CommonwealthWriterâ€™s Prize, first book, Canada and the Caribbean. It was a Globe and Mail Top100 selection in 2006.Wangersky lives and works in St. Johnâ€™s, where he is an editor and columnist with the St. Johnâ€™s Telegram.
[Wangersky] follows in the footsteps of Mailer and Dostoevsky, delving into the psychology of a deeply disturbed character…
That Shakespearean Rag
a character-driven literary novel, with the suspense of a thriller…rich, evocative writing makes everything in the book feel remarkably real
a cracking good story
One of the most unsettling crime novels I’ve read this year…Wangersky can write extraordinarily well in a number of disciplines, so it’s only reasonable to expect that, when turning his attention to psychological suspense, he’d excel at this, too.
[Russell] has a gift for astute observation, wisely chosen detail, and characterization that nods in certain directions without forcing or pushing. Just as vitally, he and Walt demonstrate the ways the rhythms and music of words can be used to build sensation — and serious unease — on the page.
London Free Press
a frank, penetrating thriller... the wordcraft here is crisp, tight and evocative
St John's Telegram
a full-on psychological thriller in the vein of John Fowles’ 1963 classic The Collector....contains a number of chilling scenes....Wangersky does a good job keeping the reader guessing as to whether Walt is a bona fide killer, or just another garden-variety creep.
Quill and Quire
Meet Walt. Obsessed with shopping lists he picks up in the supermarket where he works, and the women they lead him to. Possibly a stalker. Possibly a peeping Tom. Possibly a murderer. Russell Wangersky's fine novel takes you into the mind of a character you're not likely to forget in a hurry and to places beyond your comfort zone. It's all done with great style, economy, and dollops of dark humour that make it a joy to read and difficult to put down.
Peter Robinson, author of the Inspector Banks series
Walt is a brilliant Chinese-finger-trap of a book. The plainspoken narration draws you in and makes you feel at home, yet all the while Wangersky is cranking the thumbscrews, the grip tightening and tightening until you're left utterly breathless. Think The Silent Wife, think Gone Girl — that same sense of mounting menace, a feeling that things ain't quite right beneath the surface calm. You can read this book in one sitting but I guarantee it'll stay with you for years.
Craig Davidson, author of Cataract City
Read him: Cross of Ishmael Reed and Lou Reed. Here be expert experimentalism: The dictionary exploded and reloaded; the canon fired and melted down.
George Elliott Clark, author of I & I and Poet Laureate of Toronto, 2012-15