“Sins don’t destroy people here. Dreams do.”
In a small city somewhere in an oil-rich Canadian province just east of the Rockies, a political scandal has erupted: an aging cabinet minister has struck and killed a member of his local constituency executive with his half-ton truck, in broad daylight. But the premier suspects that there is more to this “accident” than meets the eye—and he wants to know the real reasons behind it before the media or his political rivals do.
Enter the premier’s old friend Harry Asher—lawyer, former hockey star, self-styled intellectual, and recent divorcé—who is hired to dig into the incident. And it isn’t long before Asher’s investigation threatens to expose a chain of corruption that implicates many of the province’s most powerful citizens—including the province’s legendary now-senile premier—as well as its most cherished founding myths.
In Where the Bodies Lie, Mark Lisac draws upon his decades of experience as a reporter at Alberta’s provincial legislature to craft an absorbing debut novel—part political thriller, part fable—that opens up timeless themes of friendship, love, the inescapability of grief, the weight of history, and the nature of truth.
Mark is a writer living in Edmonton, Alberta. Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, he began working as a journalist in Regina in 1973, moved to Edmonton in 1978 to join The Canadian Press as a reporter-editor, became provincial affairs columnist at the Edmonton Journal in 1987, and was publisher and editor of an independent political newsletter from 2005 to 2013. He has since been a freelance editor and written novels, the first being Where the Bodies Lie, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for best first novel. He edited a collection of speeches by former Alberta lieutenant-governor Lois Hole, titled Lois Hole Speaks, and wrote two books about Alberta politics, The Klein Revolution and Alberta Politics Uncovered, the latter winning the Writers Guild of Alberta Wilfred Eggleston Award for Nonfiction in 2005. He enjoys the work of many authors, including David Adams Richards; his favourite authors of mysteries/thrillers include Ross Macdonald, K.C. Constantine, Nicolas Freeling, Dorothy Sayers, and Josephine Tey.
“What’s remarkable about this novel is how brilliantly Lisac moves from political writing to fiction. His smooth prose and fine pacing make it a pleasure to read.” — Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail
“Why you're going to love it: Intriguingly, Lisac has been writing about the politics of a certain oil-rich Canadian province just east of the Rockies since 1979. Parts of this novel are guaranteed to ring true.” — Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf
“Lisac’s backdrop may be the political scene, but his story is in the heart of his main characters, their flaws and aspirations. He is an elegant and efficient writer and sets lovely scenes and characters, creating a murder mystery with twists and engaging characters.” — Samantha Power, Vue Weekly
“Where the Bodies Lie seems to carve its own genre. The mystery is always present, but … reads as a man living his life while peeling back hidden truths and unexplored layers of politics and friendships that are more complicated than they appear.” — Jessica McIntosh, Fort McMurray Today
“A good read…” — Nick Martin, Winnipeg Free Press