Until the Night marks the sixth (and much awaited) entry in Giles Blunt's mystery series featuring Detective John Cardinal.
Until the Night opens with a cryptic entry from something called The Blue Notebook, giving us a brief glance into an Arctic science station. The next chapter takes us back to more familiar territory - Algonquin Bay, Ontario - 340 miles north of Toronto. It is here that John Cardinal lives and works. He and counterpart Lise Delorme are called in to investigate what looks to be a domestic murder - a husband murdering his wife's lover. But the wife is missing too - also murdered? She is found, dead, but in odd circumstances. As is yet another woman. And the case leads Cardinal and Delorme down paths they couldn't imagine.
As their investigation progresses, so do the entries from The Blue Notebook - and we are slowly privy to more and more details.
Blunt has done it again - an absolutely original, intelligent, riveting plot that kept me reading.....Until The Night. (Sorry couldn't resist) But, seriously, I did use a Sunday off to devour it from first page to last. Yep, that good.
Why do I like this series so much? Protagonist John Cardinal is the big draw for me. In him, Blunt has created a believable, realistic character whose life has evolved over the course of six books. His personal life involving his wife and her difficulties have provided a storyline handled with thoughtfulness, realism and genuine emotion. His relationship with Delorme has him quite confused and is explored further in this book. We get to delve much deeper into Lise Delorme's life this time. Her own issues, insecurities and demons lead her to a dark place, putting herself and her career at risk. I have become quite invested in both of these characters.
The plotting was fantastic - the link between The Blue Notebook and Cardinal's case was slowly, inexorably revealed. The setting of Algonquin Bay has become quite familiar and I can almost feel the cold seeping into my fingers as I hold the book. Blunt grew up in North Bay, Ontario, so he knows what he writes of! Blunt also takes us to other Ontario locales with the seamier underside of Toronto and Ottawa woven into this latest mystery.
I think this latest book just might be my favourite Cardinal book yet. If you haven't discovered this wonderful Canadian author and series yet, I encourage you to. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Until the Night.
CTV has announced plans for a TV series based on the John Cardinal novels, with Blunt himself doing much of the adaptation.