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Blackfly Season (2006)

Blackfly Season (2006)

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3.7 of 5 Votes: 1
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0770429335 (ISBN13: 9780770429331)
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About book Blackfly Season (2006)

PROTAGONIST: John Cardinal and Lise Delorme, homicide detectivesSETTING: Ontario, CanadaSERIES: #3 of 3RATING: 4.75Located far north in the province of Ontario, Algonquin Bay is normally a placid place of scenic splendor. However, there's one time of year that's a trial for every person that dares to go outside of their home, and that's "black fly season". The flies attack viciously, covering the victim in bites and bloody red marks. Most people don't voluntarily expose themselves at all during this perilous time of year. So there's lots to wonder about when a beautiful young red-haired woman covered with fly bites enters the local tavern. She acts strangely, telling everyone how "nice" they are when they aren't nice at all. The first impression is that she is either high or mentally challenged. Neither is true—it turns out that she has a bullet lodged in her brain and is temporarily unable to recall who she is, why she is in Algonquin Bay and how she got shot. Someone wants her dead—but she has no idea who or why.The case is assigned to John Cardinal and his partner, Lise Delorme. They are only able to help "Red" when her memories start to return. But when that happens, she begins to cover up some of what she is remembering in order to protect her drug addict brother, Kevin. Kevin is involved in a drug running scheme which was created by a very charismatic newcomer to the area, Red Bear. Red Bear practices a form of shamanism called Palo Mayombe which is akin to Santeria and Voodoo, but more violent. It's more than black magic – it's noir magic.BLACK FLY SEASON is an engrossing tale on several fronts. The narrative thread winding around Red Bear and his machinations is very well developed. The hold he has on others is frightening. The actual rituals he practices when he feels it necessary to kill someone are disgusting and repellant.Then there's a forensics scene, which in most books of this type are overwhelmingly technical and force the reader to skim over the arcane scientific factoids. In a masterful stroke, Blunt has two scientists playing off of each other with the information being presented in a humorous interaction.The main enjoyment of the book for me was the characterization of John Cardinal. He's a fine detective; but more than that, he is a fine human being. His wife of many years, Catherine, is a manic depressive. Just as the professional aspect of his life is making tremendous demands on him, Catherine begins to enter a manic phase. That has always resulted in hospitalization in the past. Living with someone who has this disorder is extremely difficult; she blames John even as he struggles not to be over protective and trust her.Blunt's descriptive writing skills are exceptional. His descriptions of drug addiction and withdrawal are extremely realistic and tactile. The same is true of the setting—I felt like slapping flies a few times myself as the characters were out in the wild. Each character is meticulously delineated; the dialogue credible, and the story moves on at just the right pace. In fact, I only have one complaint about the book, and that is that Terri ("Red") does a few stupid things that smack of fem jep (female jeopardy). I didn't feel that was necessary in such an intelligent book.It was a pleasure to read a book that had so much heart in addition to being a first rate police procedural.

The third John Cardinal novel is as good as the first two. It begins with quite a narrative hook: a young woman is brought in who has no memory of her life or identity. It soon becomes clear that she was shot in the head with a handgun using old ammunition. Who is she? Who shot her? Why? Not long after her shooting, the dismembered body of a biker (member of a really ugly motorcycle gang) is found behind a waterfall at a provincial park. Is there a connection between the two events? Cardinal and his partner, Lise Delorme, work on the case with their usual doggedness. As it happens, the connection rests in the young woman's past. The central set of bad guys are made up of three or four losers and one really charismatic leader. Hthe leader is a pretty scary character, especially given his exterior calm. The bicycle gang members are what you'd expect, though their leader is rendered as smarter than his followers. I guess that both groups share that dynamic. There are also some interesting minor characters along the way. Blunt introduces one of those characters--someone who knows where his stolen gun has gone and who lies to Cardinal and Delorme about it--as a quick and merciless sketch about ineffectiveness (not on the cops' parts).Blunt creates believable characters, even among the bad people in his books. There's a great piece of writing involving Cardinal and Delorme telling a woman that her loser son has been murdered, and another in which Cardinal tries to deal with his manic-depressive wife's latest manic episode while both are on the eighth floor of a construction site.. He is really very good.

Do You like book Blackfly Season (2006)?

For my Reader's Advisory class, we have to read a different genre each week and then write about it. For Mystery, I chose this book (I admit, based on it's cover). I tend to not like mystery novels in a traditional sense (find clues, help detective solve a mystery, lots of series) but have a new found love for thrillers and this proved to be more of a historical reference and crime based thriller mystery. You know all the pieces of the mystery and feel tension as you watch the characters slowly come together and as the chase narrows down. It was quite interesting to learn while reading and the characters were well developed. Apparently this is a third novel containing the main detective in the story and I did not realize that when I picked it up. I enjoyed this book though, recommended for mystery, crime, and thriller lovers.

This is the first book I have read by this Canadian author. I found it a good story. I will read more of his work in the future. The police from this northern part of Ontario seemed to be a little rough around the edges, and I wonder if that is the way they really are. It would seem that this author captures the speach patterns of this group of officers.Interesting part about the towns that the arm forces built in the 1950's and what had become of them and what they how the government of the day (today) is doing about all the empty homes.I gave a 3/5 as thisis the first book I have read of his and could easily have put it down. That is the measure I use to grade the books I read. How easy is it to put down and not come back to for a bit. If the book is great I look forward to sitting down and reading further or trying to figure out how the story may move along.

It's a very decent police procedural. Blunt has written a very competent novel, but the problem is that the book is competent, gritty and realistic as a police procedural should be, but it is like a paint-by-the-numbers job. It's a novel written by a seasoned author who knows how to get the job done even if his muse is not entirely by his side. The finale was short and suspenseful, though the rest of the book was kind of mechanical. Having said all this, it is still a better-than-average crime novel. Blunt has yet to come up with anything that matches the thrill of his 'Forty Words for Sorrow.'

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