The Evil that Men Do

Michael Blair. Linda Leith (Small Press, U.S. dist.; LitDistCo, Canadian dist.), $18.95 trade paper (371p) ISBN 978-1-988130-37-8
This entertaining mystery from Blair (True Believers) introduces readers to Atticus Caulfield Riley, who has spent the last 20 of his 43 years nomadically working various jobs—piloting planes in the Australian outback, doing marine salvage in South Africa, managing an inn and pub in Scotland, and writing travel books along the way. He returns to Montreal from Scotland to see his elderly, ailing mother, hoping that money he had invested in his friend Gil Maxwell’s tech business will help pay for her care. But Gil, along with many others, has lost money to Charles Brandt, a Ponzi schemer who disappeared with more than $50 million three years before. Attending a launch party for his childhood friend Nina Sparrow’s latest rock album, Riley encounters his former girlfriend Terry Jardine, who also happens to be Brandt’s ex-wife. Terry was one of Brandt’s victims and claims to have lost almost everything, but most of Brandt’s other targets suspect she was in on it and might know where he and the money are. Some harass and threaten her. Nina’s day job is with a law firm that represents Terry, and when Terry and her daughter disappear, Terry’s lawyer recruits Riley (who did a bit of investigative work for the firm in the past) to help find them. Riley’s search takes him to Vancouver and the plot heats up as he picks up clues to Brandt’s trail there. Although the details of Riley’s love life—his past with Terry and complicated feelings for Nina—sometimes threaten to outweigh the Ponzi scheme plot, readers will enjoy the story and its exciting, fast-paced finale. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 02/05/2018
Release date: 03/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
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