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Sunday, 16 October 2016

‘Indiana Pulcinella’ by Garry Ryan

Pubished by NeWest Press,
1 May 2016.
ISBN: 978- 1-92645-557-6

This is the eighth novel featuring Detective Inspector Lane of the Major Crimes Unit of the Calgary Police Service.  Lane’s working partner is Nigel Li, a young detective whose youthful audacity perfectly complements Lane’s more measured and experienced approach. 

The fast moving novel juxtaposes birth and death from the outset as Lane is summoned from a maternity ward, where he is celebrating the birth of his nephew, Indiana, to investigate the gruesome murder of a husband and wife.  A second double murder soon puts Lane’s unit under growing pressure as they race to find the killer, or killers, who are targeting high profile residents in the city.  Lane’s concerns are further complicated when the crimes cast doubt on the  tenuous conviction of a homeless man for a similar murder in Calgary some years earlier - a fact not lost on local press and TV reporters.
The police procedural is skilfully interwoven with a second narrative as Lane’s family receive an unwelcome visit from his estranged sister, Alison.  A tense battle for custody of Lane’s new nephew ensues, along with more unwanted media publicity for Lane as he, his partner Arthur, and their household become entangled in a domestic feud that uncovers bitter family memories.

This was my first encounter with the Canadian detective and it stands very well on its own.  Garry Ryan’s carefully crafted storylines and taut style provide the novel with pace and tension.  The author also deserves the acclaim he has  received for his highly plausible description of Lane’s thoroughly modern   family.  I look forward to reading more of this entertaining series.
Reviewer: Dorothy Marshall Gent

Garry Ryan was born, raised and lives
 in Calgary, Alberta. He received a B.Ed 
and a Diploma in Educational Psychology 
from the University of Calgary and taught
 for more than thirty years in Calgary 
public schools. Since 2004 Garry Ryan 
has published ten novels. The second,
The Lucky Elephant Restaurant, won a 
2007 Lambda Literary Award (the novels 
have been short-listed three times since). 
In 2009, Ryan  was awarded Calgary’s 
Freedom of Expression Award. His upcoming novels still have Detective 
Lane  based in Calgary while travelling to colourful locales like Cuba, 
Cancun, and San José Cabos San Lucas.

Dot Marshall-Gent worked in the emergency services for twenty years first as a police officer, then as a paramedic and finally as a fire control officer before graduating from King’s College, London as a teacher of English in her mid-forties.  She completed a M.A. in Special and Inclusive Education at the Institute of Education, London and now teaches part-time and writes mainly about educational issues.  Dot sings jazz and country music and plays guitar, banjo and piano as well as being addicted to reading mystery and crime fiction.  

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