John Cardinal Books In Publication Order
- Forty Words for Sorrow (2000)
- The Delicate Storm (2003)
- Black Fly Season (2005)
- By the Time You Read This / The Fields of Grief (2006)
- Crime Machine (2010)
- Until the Night (2012)
Standalone Novels In Publication Order
- Cold Eye (1989)
- No Such Creature (2008)
- Breaking Lorca (2009)
- The Hesitation Cut (2015)
John Cardinal Book Covers
Standalone Novels Book Covers
Giles Blunt Books Overview
A riveting portrayal of two monstrous sociopaths and the cops who track them, Forty Words for Sorrow is tense and terrifying as it crosscuts between the cops in pursuit and the killers toying with their latest victim.
‘Blunt has done for Canada’s north what James Lee Burke did for Cajun Louisiana.’
Margaret Cannon, Toronto Globe and MailWhen the badly decomposed body of thirteen year old Katie Pine is found in an abandoned mine shaft, John Cardinal is vindicated. It was Cardinal who’d kept the Pine case open insisting she was no mere runaway and Cardinal who’d been demoted to the burglary squad for his excessive zeal. But Katie Pine isn’t the only youngster to have gone missing in the rural town of Algonquin Bay, and Cardinal is now given the go ahead to reopen the files on three other lost kids. When another youth is reported missing, he begins to see a pattern that screams ‘serial killer.’
Meanwhile, the brass have partnered him with Lisa Delorme, newly shifted to homicide from the Office of Special Investigations, and Cardinal can’t help but wonder if she’s been sent to keep tabs on him. A guilty conscience makes him think so.
Superbly paced, with fully fleshed characters and utterly convincing police detail, Forty Words for Sorrow is also a novel of place that transcends genre. Blunt puts us in a small Canadian town in the dead of winter and makes us feel the cold, then turns the cold into a metaphor for the destruction of young lives.
The author of Forty Words for Sorrow winner of Britain’s Silver Dagger Award returns with a crime thriller challenging our most cherished belief: that, in fiction, there is no such thing as the perfect crime. The small city of Algonquin Bay in northern Ontario: A freak warm front has moved in, making it feel like April and rousing hungry bears from hibernation. So when Ivan Bergeron’s dog brings him the chewed off arm of a white male, it’s assumed the victim met a natural if ugly end. Except, as it turns out, the owner of the arm was dead before the bears got to him. A second victim is found: a woman, apparently raped. There has to be a connection two bodies abandoned in the woods within days of each other can’t be a coincidence. Then police records reveal a long unsolved murder with the same MO: a woman found in the woods, seemingly raped. It isn’t long before homicide detectives Delorme and Cardinal are led back thirty years to another unsolved murder, this one linked to Quebec terrorists. Logic suggests the Algonquin Bay murders are connected to this case. Evidence is less convincing. And somewhere, a murderer smart and powerful is walking free.
Red Bear stood close to the fire and stretched toward the sky, every muscle in his body straining. The veins in his neck stood out like electrical cords. His voice had gone thin and raspy and the words came streaming out of him with a terrible urgency. The words if in fact they were words collided with one another. Blackfly Season, page 94
According to Detective John Cardinal, the truly diabolical thing about blackflies is their stealthy silence; there is no warning and no chance of a pre emptive strike. Every year at the beginning of May, the blackflies take over Algonquin Bay, swarming in clouds out of their winter wombs in the standing water of lakes, creeks and swamps.
But this year, the blackflies aren t the only ones to make their way into town. A self proclaimed shaman and card carrying member of the Chippewa First Nations has also arrived. Known only as Red Bear, the mysterious figure has recruited three young men from town who share a history of drug use and living on the fringe.
And Red Bear isn t the only mysterious visitor. At the World Tavern, the oldest but perhaps least reputable bar in the city of Algonquin Bay, OPP officer Jerry Commanda is enjoying his regular Friday night Diet Coke with a squeeze of lemon. He meets a young red haired woman who is unable to tell him her name, where she lives, or how she came to be at the World Tavern. It’s not until a hospital X ray reveals a bullet lodged in her brain that the reason for her amnesia becomes clear.
When John Cardinal and Lise Delorme are called in to take over the case from Commanda, they don t have a lot of leads on who this mysterious redhead is, let alone why someone would want her dead. And when the mutilated body of a member of the local biker gang the Viking Riders is discovered near long columns of bizarre hieroglyphics, Cardinal and Delorme begin to suspect that it is isn t just Viking Rider justice.
Despite the climbing body count, Cardinal is distracted. His wife, Catherine, has left to go to Toronto with a group of her photography students and Cardinal is convinced that the stress and excitement of the trip will push her to the breaking point. His worst fears are confirmed when a call reaches him from a student concerned by Catherine s erratic behaviour. Cardinal speeds to Toronto to reach his wife before she unravels.
When Cardinal returns, a third body turns up with a bullet from the same gun that shot the redhead. Linking the three murders and finding out who s responsible becomes an intricate game of unravelling the secrets of families and decoding the mysteries of an ancient form of African voodoo.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Planet Grief. An incalculable number of light years from the warmth of the sun. When the rain falls, it falls in droplets of grief, and when the light shines, it is in waves and particles of grief. From whatever direction the wind blows south, east, north or west it blows cinders of grief before it. Grief stings your eyes and sucks the breath from your lungs. No oxygen on this planet, no nitrogen; the atmosphere is composed entirely of grief. By the Time You Read This, page 37 Catherine Cardinal, wife of Sergeant John Cardinal, is dead. Ruled a suicide, it comes as no real surprise to those who knew her. Catherine had suffered from manic depression for over twenty years. Long stints of hospitalization were followed by healthy periods permeated by worry and anxiousness that everything would once again disintegrate. Her last hospital stay had been over a year ago. Catherine had been finding peace and fulfillment in her photography and taking her medication regularly. From years of experience, Cardinal had taken all of these signs to be positive and hopeful. So along with coping with devastating grief, Cardinal is confused. Although a suicide note in Catherine’s handwriting was found at the scene, Cardinal isn t convinced that his wife was responsible for her own death. She was distracted when she left to take pictures the night she died, but she was nowhere near the despondent state she attained when she was ill. It wasn t adding up. Everyone in the department, even his partner, Lise Delorme, believes Cardinal s refusal to accept his wife s suicide is only the denial that comes with the agony of his loss. Even his daughter, Kelly, has accepted her mother s fate. But when Cardinal receives a card with a typewritten note inside taunting him about his wife s death, he is resolute that someone has murdered Catherine. In Cardinal s line of work, a man can pile up a lot of enemies. The first likely suspect that comes to his mind is Kiki B., an associate of a drug dealer, Rick Bouchard, who he had sent to prison. Kiki B. knew where Cardinal lived and he had an axe to grind Bouchard had been killed while serving his sentence. With Delorme wrapped up in a nasty sex crimes case, Cardinal goes it alone. When Kiki B. turns out to have made a career change, Cardinal moves on to other members of the criminal element he d had the pleasure to put away. As he moves through a long line of suspects, Cardinal finds himself settling on perhaps the most unlikely suspect of all. From the Hardcover edition.
The long awaited new instalment in the award winning, bestselling John Cardinal mystery series.A year after the death of his beloved and troubled wife, Catherine, John Cardinal has moved into a new, but very humid, condo. He has fallen into an easy routine of work on cold case files and platonic movie nights with friend and colleague Lise Delorme. The quiet of a snow covered Algonquin Bay is shattered when the decapitated bodies of two people are found in a summer home on Trout Lake. The victims, visitors from Russia, are in Algonquin Bay attending the annual fur auction. This is by no means a routine murder investigation as Cardinal soon discovers, but a horrific piece of a very twisted puzzle. Blunt has, once again, given us a page turning plot, a remarkable cast of characters and the comfort of John Cardinal at the helm.
Silver Dagger winner Giles Blunt delivers an exhilarating game of cat and mouse with a most unlikely and likeable pair of thieves
Eight years ago, Owen Maxwell was saved from a foster home by the arrival of his uncle Max from England. Once a promising Shakespearean actor, Magnus Max Maxwell has since put his dramatic skills to new use: a master of disguise, a virtuoso of foreign dialects, and a performer to his core, he has become an extremely successful gentleman thief. Every summer, Max and Owen take a road trip across the United States, pulling off elaborate robberies along the way. But this year is different. Their first, dazzlingly executed summer heist captures the interest of the Subtractors.
Long believed an urban myth, the Subtractors are a gang of vicious thieves who prey on other thieves. They will abduct a fellow crook known to have completed a lucrative job and proceed to subtract parts of his body until he tells them where they can find the loot. No Such Creature, Max says, when Owen first suspects that they may be in the Subtractors sights. But in this, as in so many things, Max will prove to be disastrously wrong.
A master crime writer trains every weapon in his arsenal on a crime against humanity.
A literary novel that treads fearlessly into one of recent history’s most shocking moral crucibles.
In 1980s El Salvador, a young woman is detained in a government torture squad s head quarters, suspected of supporting guerilla forces. There, a bookish new recruit, Victor Pe a, is assigned to assist in her interrogation. Before they learn so much as her name Lorca the squad relentlessly break her, body and soul. It is a terrifying journey into human cruelty and courage, one which years later in the pinnacle of cosmopolitan America still haunts the tormentor as dramatically as it does his victim.