cover image Tumblin' Dice: A Mystery

Tumblin' Dice: A Mystery

John McFetridge. ECW (IPG, dist.), $26.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-55022-977-6

McFetridge (Dirty Sweet) continues to justify having been named one of Canada's crime writers to watch in 2007 with this latest contemporary gritty novel, which features some characters previously seen in his Toronto Series. Things start accelerating from the opening line, which sets the tone, engages interest perfectly, and could have come from Elmore Leonard. "The High had been back together and on the road for a couple of months playing mostly casinos when the lead singer, Cliff Moore, got the idea to start robbing them." And the avalanching pace keeps going as the band's efforts to supplement their income illegally leads to violent complications. The scheme takes a personal turn when the High decide to take revenge on a casino owner, Frank Kloss, who had ripped them off on their first contract, and continued to take advantage of them for a decade of representation. Like Leonard, McFetridge is able to convincingly portray flawed figures on both sides of the law. (Mar.)