Thursday, May 25, 2006


By John McFetridge
ECW Press
ISBN 1-55022-717-3
May 2006
$28.95 Cdn
$24.95 US
336 Pgs.

DIRTY SWEET is a complex, gritty, smorgasbord of goodies for lovers of the contemporary crime noir genre. While the story is told at a dizzying pace, McFetridge manages to imbue all his anti-heroes and his one femme fatale with three dimensional grace, courage, and tragic irony.

Roxanne Keyes, a condo real estate agent witnesses a man being shot in the head behind the wheel of his SUV on Toronto’s downtown King Street. She recognizes the man with the killer – Russian gangster Boris Suleimanov and strip club owner – and being a femme fatale, she sees the possibilities open to her by lying to the police. She has a difficult past and problems of her own so buttering up porn king, Vince Fournier who rents office space from her seems like a good idea too. Which guy is going to bring her more money?

And let’s not forget Toronto’s seedy, underworld bikers who’re out to control the drug trade. They don’t like Russian gangsters muscling into their turf. Even with the bikers, the author manages to make them human, not stereotypes, by having one of them wonder when he’d last seen a woman without tattoos or piercings, as he looks longingly at a woman with a perfect tan.

McFetridge taps into every area of Toronto to bring out the city as a first class international setting. This novel elevates the Canadian crime novel to new heights and is a “must read” for those of you who enjoy reading novels set in Canada.

John McFetridge studied at Concordia University and the Canadian Film Centre. He worked on film sets before writing screen plays and co-writing the novel Below the Line.

No comments: