About this item
When a killing spree threatens Dundurn, MacNeice risks everything to protect his team and put an end to it.
Detective Superintendent MacNeice returns to Dundurn following a month-long suspension and is immediately thrown into the mysterious case of a wounded runner named Jack and a blood trail that spans over forty miles. At the trail's source in a Carolinian forest, MacNeice and DI Fiza Aziz find evidence of two homicides, but no bodies.
Two days later, Mac is called to a torn-up orchard set ablaze by lightning. A body has been found lying next to a stack of burnt fruit trees. There's no evidence to suggest the killings are related, and yet MacNeice suspects they are. Buy why disappear the bodies in the forest and leave the orchard corpse to be discovered?
As the case develops, the team is confronted by the daylight abduction of a Brant University professor--Mac is convinced it's a killing about to happen. Going on the offensive, he employs the provincial alert system, in part, to let the kidnappers know the net is closing.
Executed bodies and disappeared chaps, both rich and hench-level, keep things hopping for rogue homicide cop MacNiece ... A strange but entertaining story.-- "Winnipeg Free Press"
With each MacNeice book, Scott Thornley takes the reader deeper into the forest of the human soul. These are, yes, detective stories, but they are also novels about a detective. For MacNeice, nearly every action undertaken in pursuit of perpetrators of horrible murders opens up vistas: of his psyche; of his love for his late wife with whom he periodically communicates; of sentient nature, dogs, birds, actual forests; and of the explicable and inexplicable in the always-slightly-glimpsed souls of his colleagues and of each criminal, down to every minor character whether a caring nurse or a gangster's stooge. In this, Thornley's writing is virtuoso, as it also is in his descriptions of modern technology, forensics, and the crimes themselves which are described with such hyper-realism that they seem almost dreamlike. Would that they were. These horrors are what the human mind is capable of devising and, sometimes, of doing. Thornley uses poetry well--"well" means near-invisibly--to handle soul-unknowables. One killer says, "Shuffle the letters of veil and you have evil." The motor of detective fiction is cause-and-effect. Thornley honours that in his intricate puzzle of a plot, then goes on to depict, character by character, cause-and-effect as the least of it. That is the mark of memorable literature. Middlemen is literature-- "Richard W. Halperin, poet"
Fast-paced, with action, violence, and suspense, but the author takes time to paint each scene fully, with details in the background and foreground, with action and nuances of conversation ... A highly satisfying read.-- "Miramichi Reader"
Praise for Scott Thornley and the MacNeice Mysteries
"No writer grabs the violent new zeitgeist more firmly than Scott Thornley." --Toronto Star
"House of Anansi continues to publish some of the best mysteries in the world, and Scott Thornley's MacNeice series is one of them." --Globe and Mail
"Like Holmes and Poirot, MacNeice is brilliant." --Hamilton Spectator
"Captivating ... Along with a terrific plot, Thornley produces prose that is both hard-hitting and thoughtful ... I'm already anticipating MacNeice's next investigation." --Edmonton Journal
"MacNeice is a splendid addition to the pantheon of [literary] detectives ... A first class-mystery." --Vancouver Sun
"Thornley's intelligent and evocative prose, combined with his depictions of complex police investigations, brings to mind one of Canada's most prominent, bestselling crime writers, Peter Robinson." -- Quill & Quire
"[MacNeice is] one of Canada's best-loved fictional detectives, whose insight-laden conversations with his deceased wife and fascination with bird calls herald the kind of oddball investigative savant whom readers adore." --Booklist