River City

River City

A Novel

Book - 2011
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On the night of the "Rocket Richard Riot" in 1955, the legendary Cartier Dagger is stolen from its protective glass case in Montreal's imposing Sun Life Building. The dagger, which once belonged to the explorer Jacques Cartier, has been on loan to Clarence Campbell, the controversial president of the NHL. Many believe the dagger gives whoever possesses it mystical powers; as a result, its journey through history is as spectacular as it is bloodstained. On the night of its theft, a man is found murdered in a nearby park, with a dagger wound to his heart. Detective Armand Touton quickly recognizes the dead man as his friend and informer Roger Clement, a local hoodlum. But who murdered him, and why?

Thirteen years later, Pierre Elliott Trudeau is prime minister and the separatist movement is gaining momentum in Quebec. The case is still unsolved. Touton asks Émile Cinq-Mars, a young constable, to continue the investigation, warning him to proceed with caution. Wanting to impress Touton, Cinq-Mars works quickly to wrap his mind around this puzzling case.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2011
ISBN: 9780002005807
Branch Call Number: FARR
Characteristics: 845 p


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Aug 23, 2015

Best book I've read this year. History of Quebec and mystery intertwined.
5 stars

Sep 09, 2012

There is rally only one thing to say about this book - read it.

Cdnbookworm Sep 21, 2011

This wide-ranging novel was a little long for me. At first I found it tough going, but a little more than halfway through it started to flow for me. It helped that it told you what time period you were in. I think once I saw the connection directly between the different time periods that helped.
Taking the reader from the time of Cartier until the early 1970s, this book covers a great deal of Quebec history. The author mixes real history with fiction in a seamless way that makes me interested in reading some straight-up history to figure out which parts are real. I feel like I learned a lot of history, but am unsure which parts are real.
He takes us through many explorers of New France, and through many leaders. Particularly prominent characters include Houde, Duplessis, and Trudeau. These historical figures and the fictional ones alongside them come to life here.
This book is history, social commentary, and a mystery all rolled into one. We have the struggle of French-English that still exists in Quebec. We have the corruption that still apparently exists. We have real history of riots, FLQ, and discovery. We have the role of the Catholic Church. And we have passion throughout.
All the main characters throughout time were passionate about what they were doing. That really comes through here and makes the book.
A good, if rather long, read.

Sep 18, 2011

Once he gets to it, this is a good mystery and includes lots of history - even if some of that is debatable. But even I think this book is just too long. Either write about the city - or the mystery. I didn't feel those ever meshed.

debwalker Aug 15, 2011

"If you approach River City, as I did, eagerly anticipating another murder mystery featuring Montreal police detective Émile Cinq-Mars, you won't be disappointed. The central event of the third Cinq-Mars novel from John Farrow (the genre nom de plume of Montreal novelist and playwright Trevor Ferguson) is the theft of the legendary Cartier Dagger during 1955's Richard Riot, and a brutal homicide committed in the immediate aftermath of the theft. But intertwined with this mystery is 500 years of the (fictional) dagger's history, which amounts to a fairly detailed history of Montreal and the New World."
H.J. Kirchhoff
Globe & Mail

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