THE DEVIL'S DUST
by C.B. FORREST
Say it isn't so! That this isn't the final Charlie McKelvey novel! But, alas, it is. Even though detectives have been known to come out of retirement and even rise from the dead, C.B. Forrest, the creator of McKelvey, has stated that this is his final book in the series of three.
That this is the finest in the series makes it even more poignant. That's not to say that The Weight of Stones and Slow Recoil were lesser books. They weren't. In fact, the first was short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Best First Novel. And Slow Recoil was short-listed for Best Novel. They are all well-crafted novels, all award-worthy.
The sad thing about no more McKelvey is that there goes a very human character, someone who has no illusions when it comes to his world and himself. He's an ex-cop by novel three, having survived the death of a fellow officer, his own wounding, the breakdown of his marriage, and most tragically, the murder of his son. He has abused his body and his sense of morality; he has doggedly sought the truth and struggled to help the victims; he has finally, in The Devil's Dust run away from himself but found himself in so doing.
This is not just the story of a rundown cop returning to his home town and then slipped back into cop-mode to help yet another victim -- the town itself. The story goes beyond the drugs that are crippling the town's youth, the backroom deals that put the brakes on the progress each segment professes to be pursuing, and the fact that Charlie McKelvey has cancer.
Forrest has the gift of getting into McKelvey's soul and sharing that with the reader. We live his anguish and his redemption. We feel the despair of the town and the hope. We're invested in tracking down the drug kingpin, solving the murders, and facing the truths. C.B. Forrest is that powerful a writer that the characters are real, therefore the story is also real.
I get it -- why this is the final McKelvey. There is no more to be said about the man. It is a fitting ending to a powerful series. Which leaves all readers wondering what's next for C.B. Forrest and hoping it won't be too long before we read all about it!
The Devil's Dust is a June release! Be sure it's on your reading list! The launch date is Tues., June 12th in Ottawa.