Miss Montreal is the fourth book in Howard Shrier's series featuring Private Investigator Jonah Geller.
I only discovered this wonderful series with the last book Boston Cream (my review) but I loved it and have been eagerly awaiting Jonah's next case.
Now persona non grata in the US, Jonah takes on a new case in Montreal. His childhood friend Sammy has been brutally murdered - and after many weeks, the police seem no closer to finding the killer. Sammy's grandfather is dying and he wants to see justice done. He hires Jonah to investigate. And with his regular partner Jenn Raudsepp sidelined, Jonah brings along reformed hit man Dante. Reformed, but still lethal.
Sammy was a respected English speaking, Jewish journalist living and working in Montreal. His body was beaten, mutilated and left in a Muslim neighbourhood of the city. Was he working on a story that got him killed? Was it someone he knew or someone from his past? Or was it just a random hate crime?
What Jonah and Dante find is much more insidious than even they could imagine.......
Howard Shrier has done a fantastic job with the setting. Descriptions of Montreal, the inhabitants and the current atmosphere are all detailed and ring true. (Shrier has lived in the city himself) The plotting was excellent and frighteningly believable. Simmering racial and cultural tensions on many fronts, the separatist movement, political machinations, terrorism and more populate this fast-paced novel.
The play between the two main characters is excellent - Jonah usually thinks before acting. Dante - well, not so much. They are polar opposites with a focus on the same goal. Shrier also gives each a personal storyline that brings depth to the character and is a nice continuance from novel to novel. They play off each other nicely and bring Spenser and Hawk to mind.
Fans of the crime genre, I encourage you to discover this award winning Canadian series. (Also being developed as a television show by a producer of Law & Order) I'll definitely be watching for number five. Read an excerpt of Miss Montreal. You can find Howard Shrier on Facebook and on Twitter.