cover image Vancouver Noir

Vancouver Noir

Edited by Sam Wiebe. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-61775-659-7

Weibe and the 13 other mostly Canadian contributors to this solid anthology expose the seedy underbelly that belies the Vancouver known to tourists and fans of the many films shot in Hollywood North. One highlight is Linda L. Richard’s “Terminal City,” a surprisingly tense-yet-moving cat and mouse story about a female assassin who falls for her target. Another notable entry is Sheena Kamal’s “Eight Game-Changing Tips on Public Speaking.” This second-person narrative, constructed as an informational article designed for a slimeball of a boss, deceptively mystifies before dropping the hammer down in karmic fashion. In Yasuko Thanh’s shattering “Burned,” three prostitutes gather at a diner in the city’s red-light district. Their conversation gradually reveals the narrator’s dismay as she learns of the criminal heartlessness of her two companions. In Nick Mamatas’s unsettling “The One Who Walks with a Limp,” set in what used to be the city’s Greektown, a young man learns some unpleasant truths about his grandparents and WWII. Not every selection is a winner, but noir aficionados will find plenty to like. (Nov.)