Buffalo Jump by Howard Shrier
Vintage Canada, Toronto, 2008
I own this one, well actually Mr G owns this one, but it was definitely on my TBR list.
I forget where I first heard about this one, maybe it was on the CBC website, or on an awards list.
Investigator Jonah Geller has returned to work after a case that went to hell. Recuperating from a wound, feeling like an idiot, he really isn’t sure he should continue in this line of work. Then he is approached by Dante Ryan, a contact hit man working for the mob in Toronto, who wants Jonah to find out who ordered his next hit. Jonah finds he really doesn’t have a choice, that he must help Ryan find the answer to his question.
One of the best “private eye” mysteries I’ve read in a while, Buffalo Jump is an interesting mix of noir, politics and humor. Jonah, the youngest of two brothers and the odd one out in his family, is traumatized by being shot during the blown case, as well as suffering recurring nightmares brought on by the time he spent in the Israeli army. Dante, one of the nicest hit men you’ll ever come across, is trying to figure a way out of the business. The story is tightly written and tied to our present economic climate, but the best part is the relationship that grows between Jonah and Dante. One minute they are best buddies and the next minute they want to tear each other apart. Fast moving and funny, this novel is a great read.
Buffalo Jump won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel in 2009 and the second book in the series, High Chicago, won the 2010 Ellis Award for best Novel. I plan on reading that one next.