Fall from Grace

Wayne Arthurson, Author
Wayne Arthurson, Forge, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2417-7
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
In Canadian journalist Arthurson's impressive first novel, journalist Leo Desroches, a recovering compulsive gambler whose life and career were nearly destroyed by his addictions, receives unprecedented access to the body of Grace Cardinal, a young Native prostitute found in a cold Alberta field. Half Native himself, Leo uses the opportunity to publicize what would otherwise be a quickly forgotten murder. It soon becomes clear that the police have missed a serial killer who targets marginalized women whose murders won't attract determined investigation. When the trail points directly at the Edmonton Police Service, Leo finds himself kidnapped by rogue cops and taken on a trip that may prove his very last. Arthurson demonstrates a fine sense of place and casts a sympathetic but informed eye on Edmonton's varied cultures. Only one detail—the manner in which Leo deals with his need for thrills—rings false in an otherwise exceptional debut. (Apr.)