Skip to main content

Review: Fallout by Sara Paretsky, Dead Man Switch by Matthew Quirk, A Shimmer of Hummingbirds by Steve Burrows

A Shimmer Of Hummingbirds

By Steve Burrows

Dundurn, 374 pages, $15.99

Story continues below advertisement

"The Birder Murder Series" has a nice ring to it. This fourth outing for Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune, the Canadian copper in the British countryside, is the best book so far with a solid plot dealing with Jejeune's precarious position in the Norfolk CID. His boss has a replacement ready and to add to the injury, she's angry because her significant other has become as enchanted with birdwatching as Jejeune. Then there's Jejeune's request to head for Colombia, supposedly on a birdwatching holiday in the jungle but actually in search of evidence in his brother's manslaughter case. While he's away, a young woman is murdered. The manslaughter in Colombia seems poised to add another victim and there's an attack on Jejeune's friend, Linda Hey. It's clear that she's in danger and that there is much more going on in Norfolk than meets anyone's eye. Jejeune has a terrible choice, save the job he loves or let a killer escape.

Fallout

By Sara Paretsky

William Morrow, 448 pages, $34.99

Has it really been 35 years since Indemnity Only brought Victoria Iphigenia Warshawski to life? Here she is, still well-shod and accompanied by her dog in Kansas searching for an aged black actress. Of course, nothing is what it's supposed to be, but it's nice to see Vic outside her Chicago comfort zone. Regulars know that Paretsky always has a bit of politics tucked into her plots and this is is highly appropriate. Old racial hatreds cling in small towns and people have long memories for events that should be buried. As Vic digs, she's uncovering plenty, but none of it is leading her to what she wants. Then the bodies start turning up. This is a terrific book to be read without a break. Save it for a long weekend.

Dead Man Switch

By Matthew Quirk

Story continues below advertisement

Mulholland Books, 320 pages, $34

It's difficult to be a spy on the run when the government has drone cameras the size of a housefly and a pilot in Utah can send a missile down in the wastes of the Mongolian desert. John Buchan just had to get his hero onto a train to Scotland; Matthew Quirk's agent-undercover, John Hayes, has a far more difficult trail. He's part of an elite and ultra-secret special-operations team that has saved countless lives. Now someone is murdering members of the team and Hayes, who has spent two years establishing his credibility as a turncoat, has to uncover the killer. This is an excellent thriller with a suitably complicated plot and action that moves from California to Europe to Cairo. The baddie is very bad and Hayes is not a superman, just a highly skilled and intelligent agent. He's joined by his protégé Claire Rhodes, an interesting character who may or may not be on his side and who is not a Bond girl. This is a sequel to Cold Barrel Zero and if you missed that one, you'll want to get them both.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

If your comment doesn't appear immediately it has been sent to a member of our moderation team for review

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.