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Mystery Books - Giles Blunt - Blackfly Season - a John Cardinal Mystery

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Blackfly Season a John Cardinal Mystery
Giles Blunt
Vintage Canada 2005

Both entertaining and captivating, Blackfly Season is a deep, dark, and disturbing mystery by Canadian author Giles Blunt.  It is not for the faint of heart.

Featuring Detective John Cardinal, it is set 250 miles north of Toronto, in the isolated and beautifully rugged community of Algonquin Bay, where only a special kind of person can reside and successfully deal with its challenges.  Unfortunately, special doesn't always mean good.

Looking like she'd just stumbled in from a few nights in the bush, an unfamiliar attractive young redhead appears at the local bar, oblivious to the dangers of the local rednecks.  She is experiencing serious memory loss, and the bullet mark on the side of her head screams of foul play and imminent danger.

Meanwhile, a brutal murder has taken place, and the gruesome scene is enough to conjure  up nightmares in even the most seasoned detectives.  It's personal, but is it drug related, or the result of gang rivalry, or is something very dark and sinister at play?  Is the woman connected?

Very interesting, Blackfly Season is not cut and dried.  Characters range from ordinary, human and relatable, to heroic, to frightening, and larger than life.  Many are at least unbalanced; some certifiably.

Blunt is good.  His descriptions are often excellent, with details that encourage a very visceral read.  His forensics are interesting.  His plot is sufficiently complex, and the setting is unique.

Likewise, Blunt very well illustrates the complexity of life and human relationships.  He gets into people's heads-perhaps the reader's as well-while he explores how it feels to experience mental illness, or drug addiction, or fear, or the rush of power; all in northern Ontario with the biting, clawing annoyance of blackflies peppered throughout.

Blackfly Season is an enjoyable, well written mystery.  Giles Blunt delivers, and as a new fan, this reader looks forward to more.

J Curran

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