City of Ice by John Farrow
Finalist for The Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction in 1999
A college kid in a Santa Claus suit is tortured, murdered, and left hanging from a meat hook on Christmas Eve—a gift intended for one particular cop.
This gripping debut thriller set in bone-chilling midwinter Montreal features one of the most compelling new heroes to emerge in crime fiction: Sergeant-Detective Émile Cinq-Mars. A brilliant logician, an eccentric who follows his own rules, this old-style cop is beleaguered by the virulent crime wave that has engulfed his city. While political uncertainty over separatism has damaged Montreal’s social and economic life, organized crime has been quick to take advantage. The Russian Mafia, rival motorcycle gangs, and infiltrators from the CIA are engaged in violent turf wars, while the police force—teeming with corruption—struggles to keep the city safe.
Even Cinq-Mars, whose stunning arrests have made him a local hero, appears to have been compromised. How has he managed to penetrate Montreal’s criminal elite? Who are his informants and how do they acquire their vast knowledge? And who is the young female American operative he seems so desperate to save from the clutches of the mob?
John Farrow constructs a vivid tableau peopled with home-grown and international criminals, each fighting for a piece of this frozen city, where dynamite and chain saws have become the weapons of choice.
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