“Harmless is a literary narcotic that seeps into your veins so gradually you aren’t even sure you’ve been drugged. It’s not until the sleeplessness hits and you feel the urge to scream from the mounting dread that you realize you’re at its mercy. This book blew my doors off. A total stunner.”
– Craig Davidson, author of Cataract City
The Big Chill meets The Dinner in this shocking tale of old friends, old flames and the new economy.
At a remote farm, a group of old friends gather to catch up, sit by the fire and forget about their overworked lives for the weekend. But old rivalries and erotic tensions lurk beneath the smiles — even the children are guarding secrets. When the adults return from a nostalgic drug-fuelled walk in the countryside they discover two of their teenage daughters have vanished and two fathers are forced into a shocking confrontation with enemies both seen and imagined. Harmless is a darkly comic novel of suspense about community, the new economy, and the lengths we go to protect the ones we love.
“Bristling and tense, and with a sharp critique of masculinity lurking within its grabby plot, James Grainger’s Harmless is anything but.”
– Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist and The Damned
“Grainger’s seamless prose belies a telltale, fearsome heart. The novel’s ruthless exposure of love and fear, and their necessary fusion, is both heart-rending and deeply chilling. Shocking and eloquent, and terribly difficult to stop reading, Harmless is a remarkable novel of complex sensibilities that makes dreadful, lyrical, and compelling sense.”
– Lynn Crosbie, author of Life Is About Losing Everything
“Grainger’s strong contribution to the literature of Ontario Gothic.”
– Philip Marchand, National Post
McClelland & Stewart, Canada, 2015
A 2015 Globe and Mail Best Book