Book 1 in the Jonah Geller series
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Toronto investigator Jonah Geller is at a low point in his life. A careless mistake on his last case left him with a bullet in his arm, a busted relationship and a spot in his boss's doghouse. Then he comes home to find notorious contract killer Dante Ryan in his apartment — not to kill him for butting into mob business, as Jonah fears, but to plead for Jonah's help.
Ryan has been ordered to wipe out an entire Toronto family, including a five-year-old boy. With a son of his own that age, Ryan can't bring himself to do it. He challenges Jonah to find out who ordered the hit. With help from his friend Jenn, Jonah investigates the boy's father — a pharmacist who seems to lead a good life — and soon finds himself ducking bullets and dodging blades from all directions. When the case takes Jonah and Ryan over the river to Buffalo, where good clean Canadian pills are worth their weight in gold, their unseen enemies move in for the kill.
This book won the Arthur Ellis Award for excellence in crime fiction for best first novel in 2008 and is at the top of my list for being one of the best and original “private eye” mysteries I have read in a long time. Once past the few first chapters which were full of unnecessary explanatory baggage the pages roared on with plot twists and exciting suspense with lots of intrigue. The story-line has an interesting mix of noir, politics and humour. To add depth and richness to the narration the author has explored his protagonist Jewishness throughout the mystery and given him a strong and individual voice with a wry sense of humour. The players have great chemistry for an unlikely mitch- match pair and the secondary ones have their own personality that are equality well-developed. Now that Toronto has a new Jewish detective who is not a laid-back kind of sleuth we have come across in other crime fiction we will have a very captivating time with him in the subsequent installments.