I love Leo Desroches, the flawed hero of Blood Red Summer. He is a talented reporter for the last print papers in Edmonton whose personal life is disastrous. He is in conflict with his boss, is destroying his on again/off again relationship with a co-worker.He is estranged from his wife and family; without contact with his young son.
When the story opens, Leo has just been released from the Remand Centre where he was serving time for killing a cop but that's a previous book. His boss has given him a last chance because despite his faults, Leo has talents. He's a great reporter. When he covers a young First Nations man's death from overdose , he videos the body droppiing from the stretcher and the body bag coming open. The story suddenly becomes more than a drug overdose and Leo is led into a labyrinth of Canadian diamond smuggling, Native gangs and mining corruption.
Desroches fights his personal demons, experiences beatings and faces likely death as he tries to unravel the evil that led to the overdose killing of the original news story.
Wayne Arthurson is of Cree heritage (so knows first hand some unique problems of First Nations People like Leo Desroches), has worked in many writing-related fields and lives in Edmonton. I really, really hope that this isn't the last of Leo Desroches. Blood Red Summer concludes the trilogy that began with Fall from Grace.
I discovered Katherine Howe at our local library when I picked her latest novel, Conversion, from the "new books" shelf at the library. I, then, ordered The House of Velvet and Glass and was not disappointed.
It's 1915 and Sibyl lives in Boston with her irascible father and ne'er-do-well brother. She is getting "long in the tooth" and is not married. She had a suitor but he married someone else. Her life is going nowhere so she turns to a medium to seek the spirits of her mother and younger sister who died when the Titanic sank.
Her brother is expelled from Harvard and the events surrounding his expulsion are mysterious. Sibyl seeks help from Benton Derby, her former swain, who is back, widowed and working in Boston at Harvard. The adventure moves from the opium dens of the city's Chinatown to the high-society parlours of the upper crust. Under the influence of "the poppy", Sibyl is able to scry using a glass (somewhat like a crystal ball) from her father's study. She can see the future and that isn't always something a person wants. Sometimes it's better not to know what is coming.
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.