cover image One or the Other

One or the Other

John McFetridge. ECW (Perseus/Legato, U.S. dist.; Jaguar Canadian dist.), $14.95 trade paper (408p) ISBN 978-1-77041-327-6

The well-written third police procedural featuring Montreal's Constable Eddie Dougherty (following A Little More Free) is set in 1976 in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Montreal. This is a world of leisure suits, Janis Joplin, and KC and the Sunshine Band, as well as airplane hijackers, Idi Amin, striking workers, defecting Olympic athletes, the Baader-Meinhof gang, and the Quebec sovereignty movement. McFetridge seamlessly weaves these period details into a fast-paced narrative as Dougherty and his colleague Sgt. Francine Legault of the Longueuil police force try to get to the truth about what really happened to two teens whose bodies washed up on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Their superiors would like to label the case a murder-suicide, but Dougherty and Legault suspect the teens were both murdered. When Dougherty is pulled off the case and reassigned to Olympic security duties, he continues to investigate on his own time. He's sometimes impulsive and unconcerned about criminals' rights, but he has a tender side, seen in his relationship with his longtime girlfriend, Judy. This is an enjoyable read brimming with colorful characters that immerses readers in a tumultuous period in Canadian history. (Aug.)