cover image Noonday Dark

Noonday Dark

Charles Demers. Douglas & McIntyre, $16.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-77162-328-5

In Canadian author Demers’s excellent sequel to 2020’s Primary Obsessions, Vancouver psychotherapist Annick Boudreau is shaken when the police inform her that a patient she’s been treating for depression, Danielle MacFadden, has disappeared, leaving a suicide note. The psychologist has never lost a patient before, and is convinced that MacFadden had turned things around. Boudreau’s curiosity about what happened is encouraged by her patient’s estranged father, who also refuses to believe that his daughter took her own life, and she suspects the truth may be connected with local politics. MacFadden, a gifted comedian, helped the campaign of the newly elected mayor, Alberto Rossi, by inserting laugh lines into his speeches. Less than a month into his term, Rossi is embroiled in scandal. The mayor pledged to phase out a major trucking corridor, whose residents suffered from air and noise pollution as a result of the heavy commercial traffic, but he abruptly backs off his promise. Demers makes the amateur sleuthing believable, and populates the supporting cast with well-developed characters, both major and minor. This clever and empathic series merits a long run. (Oct.)