Monday, April 30, 2012

The Reporter Who Came in From the Cold

A Killing Winter (Leo Desroches #2) by Wayne Arthurson.

Reviewed by Marlyn Beebe.

Journalist Leo Desroches is going undercover as a homeless person during an especially cold Edmonton winter.  During this time, he tries to look up someone he knew when he actually was homeless, a young First Nations man by the name of Marvin.

He's unable to find him, and upon learning that the normally reliable guy hasn't shown up to work in a week, he files a missing person report with the police, only to be asked to identify a John Doe in the police morgue who fits Marvin's description.  The body is indeed Marvin's, and Leo learns that a tattoo on the back of the boy's hand is a gang marking, and that it's likely Marvin's death was a gang punishment.  

Leo is aware of the existence of native gangs, but knows few details.  Surprised that Marvin, who was employed and took care of other native teens adrift in the city, was a member of the largest native gang in the country,  Leo begins to investigate on his own.  He uses his own half-Cree status to wangle a meeting with some members of the Redd Alert, and that is when things begin to go awry.

Unfortunately, Leo hasn't informed anyone at the paper about what he's doing, so he has no backup.
"Going rogue" has consequences, and Leo may lose everything he worked so hard to regain due to his gambling addiction.

It's helpful to read  Fall From Grace, the first book in the series, before tackling this one, though not absolutely necessary.  Still, if you read A Killing Winter first, you'll find yourself searching for its prequel.

Wayne Arthurson is an aboriginal writer from Edmonton, Alberta. He has worked for newspapers, magazines, advertising companies, and as a freelance writer and ghostwriter. His first crime novel Fall From Grace was published in 2011, and the sequel, A Killing Winter,  in Spring 2012.


  1. Marlyn, it sounds like an intriguing book. Thanks for the review!

  2. This novel tackles a lot of social issues and sounds like a great read. I always enjoy stories with a journalist protagonist. :)

  3. Sounds fascinating, Marlyn! Can't wait to read it! Thanks for sharing.


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