Slow Recoil by C.B. Forrest
C.B. Forrest is back with his second Charlie McKelvey crime novel, again set in Toronto and again, a page-turner. McKelvey, now retired from the Toronto Police, is living a slow-paced life in his downtown condo, showing the ravages of his life as a cop, the brutal death of his son, and advancing age.
When Tim Fielding, a friend from his former bereavement group asks him to investigate the disappearance of his female friend, McKelvey agrees to look into it. And from that point on, he's questioning his judgment in not going to the police right form the start.
It looks like the woman just up and left town but when McKelvey is jumped in her apartment and given a beating brutal enough to break his nose, it fuels his determination to get to the bottom of it all. He suspects foul play. What he uncovers is a Bosnian killing squad, led by The Colonel, out to assassinate two men guilty of war crimes who are now living in Toronto.
Tim is abducted as the assassin is determined to tie-up loose ends, hoping to lure McKelvey to his own death. Interpol enters the chase, as an international crimes agent, a former French police officer, appears on the scene and teams up with McKelvey, albeit briefly. The suspense is torqued as McKelvey closes in on the killer.
Identities are not what they seem and McKelvey is constantly questioning motives, as well as the direction his life has taken. That softens the edges and makes him a character the reader cares about, even worries about. And, as Forrest admits, he's paying homage to Toronto, a city that enthralls him.
Slow Recoil holds the reader with solid writing, believable characters, lots of action, and did I mention, top notch writing?
His first novel, The Weight of Stones, was short-listed in the Best First Novel category of Crime Writer's of Canada's Arthur Ellis Awards last year. If this doesn't show up on the Best Novel short-list this year, I'll be truly surprised.