Saturday, May 17, 2014
"Vigilante Season", by Peter Kirby
What it is not to like when an author chooses your home town as backdrop for his mystery. Of course this novel is purely a work of fiction….or is it? After all, wouldn't it be inevitable for Mr. Kirby, a lawyer by profession, to explore the seedy side of a city he knows so well and provide his readers with an atmospheric book on the gritty streets of Montreal. Isn't it natural to be influenced and to explore social issues, relationships, politics and everything that may hit the headlines and work around this to provide us with an exciting read? Of course and with “Vigilante Season” we find once more a window into human nature in times of conflict.
This second installment deals with drug dealers and prostitutes in a neighbourhood going through gentrification. The authorities are barely present and there is so much budgets cutbacks, a local militia has stepped in to help clean up the neighbourhood in an effort to impose their will. Inspector Luc Vanier is back to investigate the brutal murder of a drug dealer and in Mr. Kirby’s Montreal, thugs and lowlifes rub shoulders with the elite.
This is a riveting story of corruption and street crime, fast-paced and an enjoyable escapism. The plot covers a lot of ground, this isn't simply a mystery it also solves it. The main theme centres on a fictional struggle for authority and justice and what happens to a neighbourhood when it has been abandoned by the police and politicians. While the side plots have Vanier helping his son to overcome his PTSD and to lighten the subject the most appropriated tad of romance crosses the pages. The story is well-written with a Montreal state of mind and goes beyond a straightforward narrative. We have first-rate characterization where good people do bad things and bad people do good things (or think they do). Another great novel and an author on my watch list.