The Dead of Winter – a Luc Vanier crime novel by Peter Kirby

Dead of Winter crime novel by Peter Kirbyy

Dead of Winter – a Luc Vanier crime fiction novel by Peter Kirby

The Dead of Winter
A Luc Vanier crime novel by Peter Kirby

ISBN: 978-0-9879946-2-2
Publication Date: October 13, 2012
Original trade paperback $21.95 | Ebook $14.95
Linda Leith Publishing www.lindaleith.com

Shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Book

“One of the new additions to the fine stable of crime writers in this country” −CBC Sunday Edition

“A powerful ride through the dark and raw of Montreal. Temperance Brennan would feel right at home.” −Kathy Reichs, author of Flash and Bones and Bones are Forever

“Saints, villains, the homeless and the powerful are held in winter’s suspenseful grip. In a riveting new series, Peter Kirby reveals Montreal at the worst of times, its underbelly exposed and dire forces at play.” −John Farrow, author of City of Ice and River City

“Taut. Claustrophobic. Compelling. A chilling tale–in ever sense of the word. Peter Kirby’s story of murder and its machinations tightens around the reader like a noose.” −Will Ferguson, longlisted for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize for 419

The accolades say it all: powerful, raw, riveting, taut, compelling. Shortlisted by Crime Writers of Canada for its Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel, Peter’s Kirby’s The Dead of Winter marks the debut of a brilliant new voice in international crime writing.

It begins with a subtle telling of what appears to be the mercy killing of a homeless woman in Montreal; a street scene masterfully wrought, disturbing in its implications that quickly turning into a gripping, page-turning police procedural. For all of its wide appeal, it is a work startlingly immediate and original in its concept.

The novel follows world-weary Detective Inspector Luc Vanier as he hunts down a disturbed killer of homeless people. Vanier confronts his own demons while his investigation draws him into the heart of the Catholic Church in Quebec, the boardrooms of Montreal’s business elite, and the back-alleys and soup kitchens of the dispossessed. With a cast of fascinating characters, this is a Montreal that will cast its icy shadow over your shoulder for a long time to come.

Step into the world of Inspector Luc Vanier – it is a world you will want to come back to more than once.

About author Peter Kirby:
Peter Kirby practices international law with Fasken Martineau, one of Canada’s largest law firms. He was born in Cork, Ireland, and grew up in Brixton in South London. As a scrappy kid in a tough neighbourhood, he left school early, heading to the U.S. and eventually working as an itinerant chef. He ended up in Montreal, taking up law as a mature student at McGill University, working as a chef by day and student by night. In 2012, The American Lawyer listed him as one of Canada’s leading 500 lawyers. Benchmark Litigation calls him one of Canada’s stars in international arbitration. His practice has seen him involved in post-conflict arbitration in the Balkans and litigating disputes against the U.S. government in Washington and the Egyptian government in Paris.

A MESSAGE FROM PUBLISHER LINDA LEITH:

Dear Readers,

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Peter Kirby’s first crime novel, The Dead of Winter, published in October 2012.

For twelve years, as the founder and artistic director of Blue Metropolis, I had the unique privilege of bringing some of the world’s best storytellers to Montreal – among them Mavis Gallant, Carlos Fuentes, A.S. Byatt, Norman Mailer, and Alaa al Aswany. I am pleased to say I now have the opportunity to bring one of Montreal’s best storytellers to the world.

An earlier manuscript of The Dead of Winter was shortlisted by Crime Writers of Canada for its Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel. From the first chapter of this thrilling novel, you will be caught and held by Peter Kirby’s subtle telling of what appears to be the mercy killing of a homeless woman in Montreal. It is a street scene masterfully wrought, disturbing in its implications, and it quickly turns into a gripping, page-turning police procedural that will simultaneously appeal to readers of Ian Rankin, Kathy Reichs and Umberto Eco. For all of its wide appeal, it is a work startlingly immediate and original in its concept.

The novel follows world-weary Detective Inspector Luc Vanier as he hunts down a disturbed killer of homeless people. Vanier confronts his own demons while his investigation draws him into the heart of the Catholic Church in Quebec, the boardrooms of Montreal’s business elite, and the back-alleys and soup kitchens of the dispossessed. With a cast of fascinating characters, this is a Montreal that will cast its icy shadow over your shoulder for a long time to come.

Peter Kirby practices international law with Fasken Martineau, one of Canada’s largest law firms. He was born in Cork, Ireland, and grew up in Brixton in South London. As a scrappy kid in a tough neighbourhood, he left school early, heading to the U.S. and eventually working as an itinerant chef. He ended up in Montreal, taking up law as a mature student at McGill University, working as a chef by day and student by night. In 2012, The American Lawyer listed him as one of Canada’s leading 500 lawyers. Benchmark Litigation calls him one of Canada’s stars in international arbitration. His practice has seen him involved in post-conflict arbitration in the Balkans and litigating disputes against the U.S. government in Washington and the Egyptian government in Paris.

To accompany this introduction, you will find a letter from Peter himself, talking about his journey toward the novel. I invite you to step into the world of Inspector Luc Vanier – it is a world you will want to come back to more than once.

Sincerely,
Linda Leith, Publisher

LETTER FROM AUTHOR PETER KIRBY
June 2012

Dear Reader,

In Brixton, the working class South London neighbourhood where I grew up, the only thing I excelled at was getting into fights, not hard for a mouthy Irish kid with glasses and too much attitude. I left school knowing no university would take me, and headed for America. After wandering around for a few years, working as a cook in New York, Boston and Toronto, I arrived in Montreal at the start of the great English exodus that followed the election of the first Parti Québécois government. If the old establishment was running for the lifeboats, I figured the city could be an interesting place to be. I was right, and quickly came to love Montreal like no other place.

My first job in Montreal was as a busboy in Howard Johnson’s on St. Catherine Street; then I graduated to wheelman, the cook who calls out the orders and cajoles everyone else so the plates for a particular table all hit the window at the same time. And I started to dream.

Concordia University had a mature student program with night classes. They let me in. The deal was if I did OK, I could stay, if not, I couldn’t. I stayed. I did OK enough to get into McGill Law. I worked as a breakfast cook from 5.30 am to 11 a.m., and then went to class.

I’ve been writing fiction – scribbling is more accurate – since I left school, but the demands of raising a family and building a law practice meant that there was never enough time. The sock-drawer filled up with unfinished pieces. I figured writing legal briefs was close enough to writing fiction. But it wasn’t.

I first met Detective Inspector Luc Vanier when we were both alone, drinking our way through Christmas, pretending the holiday season didn’t exist. Luckily, we both got distracted. Vanier was called out to investigate a series of murders in Montreal’s metro system, and I followed, recording what I imagined. In the months that followed, The Dead of Winter took shape in hotel rooms, airports and internet cafes. Vanier was with me wherever I went.

Vanier’s Montreal is a seething mix of competing forces bumping up against each other on a shared island; a schizophrenic community where conflicting economic interests, languages, and ethnic groups vie for space. The novel focuses on the most vulnerable of those communities, the homeless. Nobody sets out with the ambition of sleeping alone in some doorway, or under a tarpaulin in an alley. But everyone who ends up there is someone’s son or daughter, and, maybe, someone’s father or mother.

What matters most in fiction is the people that populate it, and people are rarely straightforward, neither entirely good nor irredeemably evil. Most of us make choices on the spur of the moment and with incomplete information. In The Dead of Winter, I have tried to explore how even good people can make bad choices – and the consequences of those choices.

Peter Kirby