Nanaimo-based mystery writer Gar Mallinson sets his novel in the heart of Vancouver Island with private investigators Harry Touchstone and his sidekick Sabina Harris. This unusual duo around whom edgy and diverse characters flourish shows Mallinson’s skills for drawing true-to-life characters evocative of such writers as Giles Blunt and John Sandford.
The story is told mostly through Harry’s eyes, but the narrative shifts to Sabina and RCMP officers Spence Riley and Alan Kim to reveal often opposing insights as they follow numerous twists and turns, clues, and red herrings.
Night Moves presents themes of the power of cults, gender fluidity, and sexual identity quests, all of which are woven into detailed, often eerie, settings from deep bush and dank hiding places to night-time sojourns on the stroll.
Night Moves, a thriller-mystery, leads the reader into suspenseful pursuits of two reclusive, psychopathic brothers as they pursue their twisted perversions of biblical text from the cult they grew up in. As the story progresses, the investigators follow the killers into ever more dangerous territory, witnessing an escalating progression of murderous rage.
Watch for Mallinson’s next novel Endgame and visit his website at garmallinson.com.
Blood, Lust, Guts and Fear
Harry “One Sigh” Touchstone is a small-time private detective who manages to get himself on the front lines of big cases. This time, there is a serial killer (or two) on the hunt for pretty and very special girls (sometimes) on the stroll. Harry’s sexy girlfriend and partner, Sabina; sharp-tongued and funny secretary, Isabella; colleagues Will and Rory; and cops Alan and Spence collaborate on a chase through the writhing streets, inaccessible bush and at a biker’s lair with a devastating lack of luck.
Many scenes are fueled by coffee and scented with cinnamon donuts. The dicks and the cops work well together, despite some tensions, sex and snark. Meanwhile, beautiful, sexually-active young women slip into darkness and death. Who’s chasing them down? Why such bizarre ritualistic behaviour? It takes all of them to work the many angles, drive the many streets, and enlist help from profiling experts.
Night Moves is a police procedural down to its bones. The author takes us through the workings of law enforcement and private detection in intimate detail, while thoroughly placing the story in Vancouver and its neighbouring island in British Columbia, Canada. Thick with meetings and musings, Night Moves nevertheless pops with action. Not to be missed is a long, dramatic, spectacular sequence featuring a young Indigenous woman of remarkable courage and ingenuity. Night Moves is a terrifying tale boiling with fear, lust and sex.
I purchased Blood Lust on amazon.ca.