Much above average. I think this is third in the series set in Northern Ontario.
There is a lot going on in this novel. Murders, drug addicts, mental illness, murderous voodoo, regional bugs, biker gang, Indian-white relations, card reading, family issues, brain trauma, forensic sciences, bad cops. Blunt makes everything run smoothly and puts all these disparate elements together.
Local cop Cardinal gets involved with a "amnesia" case. The woman, Terri, was shot in the head by a .32 and suffered memory loss from brain trauma. While trying to track down Terri's identity - they do not even know her name yet - and find out who shot her, Cardianal and his gal partner Lisa Delorme find a mutilated and rotting body. The cases are connected.
An Indian named Red Cloud has come to town, impressed three local lowlifes with his fortune telling and charisma, has taken over part of the heroin trade, and is busy killing competition. One of the three lowlifes is the brother of the shot woman.
Things happen. A local RCMP trooper is a bad guy. Cardinal's wife's medication is failing and she is going into a manic phase and refuses to recognize it. Cardinal's daughter still won't speak to him. Delorme still has no boyfriend.
1. Fortune telling by card reading? Surely Sara Gran has read this one already.
2. Hey, you know who all these differently matched characters remind me of? Charlie Stella. There are 3-4 different story lines going together and all the characters are fully drawn.
3. Early in the novel Blunt has a 1.5 page section that perfectly and succinctly shows the relationship between Cardinal and his wife. Card's love and concern for her mental health. The wife's focus on her photography and teaching and her denial - or inability to recognize - her worsening condition.
4. Blunt also gives quick but thorough inside looks into a heroin drug addict, the murderous version of voodoo practiced by Red Cloud. Red Cloud is actually Cuban who came with the Mariel boatlift when he was 5-years-old.
5. Colt Police Positive love.
6. Black fly season in Northern Ontario is to be avoided. The little flies make no noise and swarm into to bite, bite, bite.
7. The second Blunt novel I have read and the second time a RCMP guy is a bad guy.