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Publisher Description

The Planet Grief. An incalculable number of light years from the warmth of the sun. When the rain falls, it falls in droplets of grief, and when the light shines, it is in waves and particles of grief. From whatever direction the wind blows–south, east, north or west– it blows cinders of grief before it. Grief stings your eyes and sucks the breath from your lungs. No oxygen on this planet, no nitrogen; the atmosphere is composed entirely of grief. [By the Time You Read This, page 37]

Catherine Cardinal, wife of Sergeant John Cardinal, is dead. Ruled a suicide, it comes as no real surprise to those who knew her. Catherine had suffered from manic depression for over twenty years. Long stints of hospitalization were followed by healthy periods permeated by worry and anxiousness that everything would once again disintegrate. Her last hospital stay had been over a year ago. Catherine had been finding peace and fulfillment in her photography and taking her medication regularly. From years of experience, Cardinal had taken all of these signs to be positive and hopeful.

So along with coping with devastating grief, Cardinal is confused. Although a suicide note in Catherine’s handwriting was found at the scene, Cardinal isn’t convinced that his wife was responsible for her own death. She was distracted when she left to take pictures the night she died, but she was nowhere near the despondent state she attained when she was ill. It wasn’t adding up.

Everyone in the department, even his partner, Lise Delorme, believes Cardinal’s refusal to accept his wife’s suicide is only the denial that comes with the agony of his loss. Even his daughter, Kelly, has accepted her mother’s fate. But when Cardinal receives a card with a typewritten note inside taunting him about his wife’s death, he is resolute that someone has murdered Catherine.

In Cardinal’s line of work, a man can pile up a lot of enemies. The first likely suspect that comes to his mind is Kiki B., an “associate” of a drug dealer, Rick Bouchard, who he had sent to prison. Kiki B. knew where Cardinal lived and he had an axe to grind–Bouchard had been killed while serving his sentence.

With Delorme wrapped up in a nasty sex crimes case, Cardinal goes it alone. When Kiki B. turns out to have made a career change, Cardinal moves on to other members of the criminal element he’d had the pleasure to put away. As he moves through a long line of suspects, Cardinal finds himself settling on perhaps the most unlikely suspect of all.

GENRE
Mysteries & Thrillers
RELEASED
2006
October 17
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
320
Pages
PUBLISHER
Random House of Canada
SELLER
Penguin Random House Canada
SIZE
6.8
MB

Customer Reviews

JGB-Strom ,

Lines of inquiry

*****SPOILER ALERT! THIS REVIEW CONTAINS DETAILS YOU MIGHT WANT TO COME TO ON YOUR OWN*********

In this installment of the John Cardinal series death come early and from an angle I wasn't expecting.

Within the first few pages John Cardinal's wife, Catherine is found dead, an apparent suicide. Cardinal and his daughter Kelly find it awkward being in such close quarters with the absence of Catherine thrust in their faces at every turn. Preparing for a funeral is never easy, but what do you say to people when the person took their own life?

While he is on bereavement leave Lise Delorme, his frequent partner in these stories, is handed a case no police officer ever wants to handle - child pornography including evidence of sexual abuse. The case originates with the Toronto Police but the registration on a plane in the background of one photo indicates a connection to Algonquin Bay. Delorme starts the delicate task of investigating while trying to make sure the unknown perpetrator doesn't get alerted. One false move and not only will he disappear but also any potentially incriminating evidence will go up in smoke.

The internal logic of this tale slowly brings the two incidents together, with the reader able to see connections invisible to Cardinal and Delorme. Each new development ratchets up the tension until you wonder whether the metaphorical cavalry will arrive in time to prevent further tragedies.

Blunt continues to develop the characters of his two principles and the story, while grim at times, is a worthy addition to the series. "By the Time You Read This" will make you want to read more.

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