City of Ice

City of Ice

A Novel

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
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A college kid in a Santa Claus suit is tortured, murdered, and left hanging from a meat hook on Christmas Eve--a gift intended for one particular cop.          Reminiscent of Smilla's Sense of Snow, this gripping debut thriller set in bone-chilling midwinter Montreal features one of the most compelling new heroes to emerge in crime fiction: Sergeant-Detective Émile Cinq-Mars. A brilliant logician, an eccentric who follows his own rules, this old-style cop is beleaguered by the virulent crime wave that has engulfed his city. While political uncertainty over separatism has damaged Montreal's social and economic life, organized crime has been quick to take advantage. The Russian Mafia, rival motorcycle gangs, and infiltrators from the CIA are engaged in violent turf wars, while the police force--teeming with corruption--struggles to keep the city safe.          Even Cinq-Mars, whose stunning arrests have made him a local hero, appears to have been compromised. How has he managed to penetrate Montreal's criminal elite? Who are his informants and how do they acquire their vast knowledge? And who is the young female American operative he seems so desperate to save from the clutches of the mob?          Against the backdrop of events in today's headlines, John Farrow constructs a vivid tableau peopled with home-grown and international criminals, each fighting for a piece of this frozen city, where dynamite and chain saws have become the weapons of choice. Taut and timely, City of Ice dazzles with its complex plot and grittily realized characters; it's a suspense read that's difficult to put down, impossible to forget.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c1999.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780375501401
0375501401
Branch Call Number: FARR
Characteristics: 403p. 24cm.

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capitalcity
Jan 06, 2017

City of Ice: a serious, well-layered police procedural playing out in a menacing, trust no one, atmosphere. Vibrantly etched, distinctive characters populating a tense plot. Having spent a considerable amount of time in and around Montreal, I can state unequivocally that familiarity with both the street-level geography (recognizing street names/locales) as well as the architectural morphology of the various neighborhoods (especially downtown) on the part of the reader would add immeasurably to visualizing and appreciating what transpires, thus enhancing the richness of the storyline. For myself the book transformed into a mental video.
Note: Jacques Cinq-Mars, on which the lead character Emile Cinq-Mars is based, passed away recently at the age of 96. An excellent, full-page obituary/'I Remember' of the Montreal police officer was published in the Globe and Mail on 1 DEC 2016, and may be found on line; adds insightful perspective to the novel.

p
PennPal
Nov 16, 2015

Don't know how I missed this story before - captures many aspects of Montreal so vividly.
Well written, the prose flows easily, each character voice is clear.

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