The masterful new novel, the first in his final trilogy, from a Canadian literary legend at the height of his powers.
John Delano is a broken man, seemingly at the end of everything: the end of his legendary but controversial career as a police officer; the end of his sad and difficult marriage; the end of his years-long search for the truth of what happened to his missing son; the end of his fruitless quest for personal redemption; even, perhaps, the end of his life. Only one small thing keeps him going: his conviction that he has a final case to solve, centred around the disappearance years ago of a young boy placed in foster care in Saint John, New Brunswick. Following the delicate and convoluted thread of that case takes John to unexpected places: dangerously close to powerful civil servants hoarding damning secrets; to a Canadian humanitarian mission in Rwanda before and during the genocide; to New York and the compromised corridors of the United Nations; and deep into his own haunted past.
With this new masterwork, David Adams Richards continues to astonish us, weaving familiar themes in fresh new ways. His people are still rooted in his beloved Miramichi region of New Brunswick, but his storytelling–as always, displaying his genius for plot and his extraordinary empathy for his flawed characters–has expanded to encompass the much wider world that his people traverse: the politically charged, intricately connected modern universe in all its richness, contradiction, devastation and little points of hope. In the end, what ties John Delano to every other unforgettable character in this compelling work is the shared search for principles to live by: as each person decides what those principles shall be, their fates inevitably and heartbreakingly intertwine.
“Richards gives us more than the typical damaged-detective tale by adeptly laying out Delano’s contradictory internal world…what most people want from life is answers, to know what happens in the end, to understand why – in short, a story. Richards knows this, and never lets the swift pace of this well-made tale drop, even as he weaves in his philosophies.” – Special to The Globe and Mail by Alix Hawley author of All True Not a Lie in It
“I don’t want to give up my book reviewer’s credentials by defending this self-referential business, but it is funny – and an indication that the novel is not so much a conventional crime novel as it is a devil’s comedy with God and His saints having the last word. Some readers may be offended by the occasional tone of denunciation adopted by Delano and the author – Margaret Thatcher of all people gets a favourable mention – but I like the author’s outspokenness, his bracing and fearless facing of the reader, eyeball to eyeball.” – Philip Marchand, The National Post
Doubleday Canada, May 2016