CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 10. . . .November 8, 2013
When Vancouver City Councillor George Nash, a man who loves life a little too much, suddenly commits suicide, reporter Sebastian Casey takes the case. Author James Heneghan, known mostly for his young adult works, has created this playful mix of the classic whodunit set in the West End of Vancouver. While the feel of the story is reminiscent of a 1940's noir novel, complete with a femme fatale, a witty and beautiful office-mate and a few red herrings, Heneghan also incorporates twenty-first century sensibilities and technologies – Casey has to rely on more than circumstance to suss out the perp.
The story is quick and clever, though it would have been nice to linger and lean on misdirection just a little longer. As with all the “Rapid Reads”, a Raven Books series of well-written short books, the book’s short chapters, swift pace, and simple and clear language make it a great read for absolutely anyone. That's not to say that Heneghan didn't infuse this book with any artful writing. There is foreshadowing and consistent themes throughout, and wordplay in dialogue gives the characters some zing and the reader something fun to google. Classic sayings, such as “ugly mugs” and “leave the police business to the police!”, pay homage to the genre's history, but it is all somehow believable, in good fun and in good taste, making this Rapid Read a delight.
Stephanie Dror is in the MA in Children's literature program at the School of Library and Archival Studies, the University of British Columbia.
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