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The Devil's Dust: A Charlie McKelvey Mysteryby C. B. Forrest
Synopses & Reviews
Retired Toronto detective Charlie McKelvey runs from a cancer diagnosis and the violent memories of the big city and retreats to his hometown. A small declining mining centre, Ste. Bernadette offers McKelvey a chance to resolve old family issues, including his fathers involvement in a deadly wildcat strike in the late 1950s.
When the local police force enlists his help in tracing an upswing in youth violence and vandalism, McKelvey stumbles into the hornets nest of a crystal meth industry. The timing couldnt be worse for the town to expose its drug problem to the world: the mayor is hoping a new transmission line will be built through the town, bringing power line jobs and construction dollars; the police chief is trying to close a deal to truck Detroits garbage to a local site as well as vie for the mayors job; and a sleazy businessman is attempting to buy up the towns land to open a casino and resort.
Despite searches and seizures, the flow of drugs continues, leading McKelvey to suspect a local is manufacturing the drug. The Devils Dust holds a magnifying glass to the current decline of rural life, the scourge of meth, and what happens when an entire town loses faith.
"Unusual conviction revitalizes familiar material in Arthur Ellis Award — finalist Forrest's exceptional third Charlie McKelvey novel (after 2010's Slow Recoil). Having lost his family and his job as a Toronto police detective and now bearing a diagnosis of prostate cancer, McKelvey flees to his hometown, Ste. Bernadette, to re-examine his past and take stock of his present condition. Like him, the little mining town has an uncertain future, but its failing health is complicated by the introduction of crystal methamphetamine among disaffected teens, leading to pointless, heartbreaking violence and death. As an earnest young policeman begs for McKelvey's assistance, the older man begins facing his own addictions and realizes how much his sad experience still can help others. What could have been a mawkish tale of redemption is told with honest, restrained but eloquent prose that gives tantalizing glimpses into the sympathetic but sometimes deeply flawed characters. The result is quietly but deeply memorable. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Charlie McKelvey goes to his northern hometown to find that the big city isn't the only place with big problems. This book holds a magnifying glass to the decline of rural life, the scourge of meth, and what happens when an entire town loses faith.
About the Author
C.B. Forrest's first literary crime novel, The Weight of Stones, was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Slow Recoil was nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel. He lives in Ottawa.
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