Saturday, April 17, 2021

Five Ways to Disappear: New title, 6th in the B.C. Blues Crime Series by R. M. Greenaway


Written by Colleen Tsoukalas

The sixth book in this series by R.M. Greenaway is one that may make you disappear for awhile as you read the first five: Cold Girl, Undertow, Creep, Flights and Falls, and River of Lies. These local crime investigations, based in North Vancouver, feature the dark forests, stormy weather, and the criminal possibilities that shadow even a collection of whirly gigs along a neighbor's fence, and a kids' carnival. The 'uh oh, what if' feeling is what draws me to reconnect with RCMP Constables, JD Temple, Cal Dion and Dave Leith. Both Temple and Leith know something about the murder in Dion's past, one that is giving him recurring nightmares, now. Will it be friendship over career for Temple and Leith? And how about for Dion, the guy who gets himself into many do or die situations while managing to survive, leather jacket and ongoing bouts with conscience intact. He is a great tortured but kind hero, fixing and returning necklaces, repairing hot water tanks and vacuum cleaners and teaching survival cooking to that beautiful gal who needs to learn to survive without servants. 

Disappearing, in this story, takes on many shapes and forms. Make yourself a new identity and rent a place, in a far away neighborhood, retreat from society by building a cabin and becoming a hermit, lose your cellphone so your kids or your parents can't track you, be a terrible artist and be killed for it, become a clown and get murdered, become a murder victim and someone else takes your identity, and then there is the tiniest possibility that as should you decide to take a new upwardly mobile job, (Leith) find a different direction or love interest (JD) or confess and face jail,(Dion) that this dynamic team might be dissolved and disappear. Possibilities are endless. Most disappearances are solved, though; people reappear unless they are dead, and then the race is on to see who was the killer and all of the crime details.

All of the characters, good and bad, are complex humans. All of the motives for murder are there. All of the possibilities for choosing another direction, another partner, another way forward are there, too. There is cruelty and kindness, strength and weakness, relationship and alienation. There are death scenes: "He watched the salesman twitch and claw and turn purple." "The red spray was fast and startling." A surprise in each chapter beginning with the first fast murder in Whirlwind to the final one in Day's End, "Just say I did it." And will Dion tell? This sentence leads me to believe that there might be more to this story and for this great Canadian team. "The world was coming to an end, and it was just beginning and how could that be?"

Thanks R.M. Greenaway for a brilliant read during dark times.

Dundurn Press, BC Blues, 2021
Purchase via Amazon
This picture is taken looking at North Vancouver, where this book is set
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