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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
As Principles to Live By starts, protagonist John Delano is nearing his end. Months away from retirement and broken by tragedy, Delano is neither a great cop nor a good man. The only thing left driving him is an old vendetta and the search for a missing orphan. Giller Prize winner David Adams Richards gets dark, with themes of death, injustice, revenge, and power versus the powerless. It’s heartbreaking stuff, but also suspenseful and completely gripping.
That was great