Author: Mike Knowles
Publisher: ECW Press
Genre/Themes: Mystery, Crime
Release Date: April 10th, 2018
Woody was working on getting high when the phone rang. Dennis was on a date — it was a date he paid for, but a date all the same. Os had blood on his hands from a little extracurricular law enforcement. All three men picked up their phones because they were cops, and cops are never really off-duty — not even when they’re crooked.
Detective Julie Owen was savagely killed in her own bed, and the unborn child she was carrying is nowhere to be found. The grisly crime has the brass breathing down the necks of the three detectives tasked with finding Julie’s killer. Woody, Dennis, and Os each shared a bond with Julie that went deeper than the blue of their uniforms and have their own reasons to want to find the person responsible for her murder. Secrets drive the investigation — secrets that need to stay buried long enough to solve the case.
I’ve read a lot of mystery novels where the main premise is about cops trying to solve a murder. I’ve even read mystery novels where the murder victim is a cop. However, I’ve never read any books where the plot revolves around the cops themselves instead of the murderer. That is the unique factor in this novel, and it’s the reason why I wanted to read it.
Another reason I wanted to read it is because all three of the cops are crooked in different ways. Centering a book around three corrupt cops is a really risky move because they were all so unlikable. I never rooted for any of them, but I was still really hooked by them and they were really well-developed. I understood each of their motivations and while I wish their backstories had been a little more fleshed out, I thought their stories and connection to Julie Owen was very compelling.
The best part about this novel is the writing. It’s witty and sharp, without being cheesy or overdone. There’s an edge and a darkness to this novel, but it’s not too graphic or horrific in its descriptions. It’s a very hard line to balance, and I thought Mike Knowles did it well.
Overall, I thought this was a really great crime novel. It was unique in a lot of aspects, and I loved how it was centered in Canada. It’s written very well, the characters are fascinating and it had a few twists that I didn’t see coming. Mike Knowles is an author to watch.