ECW PRESS

  • The joke? Toronto thinks it's the centre of some multicultural universe, always bragging about how people come from every part of the world to live there.

    The punch line? Some of them are coming to commit crimes.

    So yeah, Sharon MacDonald's got a problem.

    And no, it's not being trapped in her apartment, tethered to a court-ordered tracking device. It's not the guy who just fell 25 stories and through the roof of a car. Not the cops preventing her from getting to the grow rooms. It's not even the mystery man who shows up with a life-saving plan that just might work.

    Sharon's problem is Ray: he's too good-looking.

    Detective Gord Bergeron has problems too. Maybe it's his new partner, Ojibwa native Detective Armstrong. Or maybe it's the missing ten-year-old girl, or the unidentified torso dumped in an alley behind a motel, or what looks like corruption deep within the police force.

    Bergeron and Armstrong are two of the cops poking around Sharon MacDonald's place. They want to know whether the Arab-looking dead guy jumped, or if he was pushed. When it turns out he's got no ID, no one knows him, and a couple of the 9/11 terrorists once lived in the building, they dig deeper, trying to make connections all over the new Toronto, in the Asian massage parlours, the street-dealer-led housing projects, and the mafia-run private clubs.

    Or maybe they'll just stay close to Sharon. She knows what everybody knows. The whole world might be coming here, but this is nowhere.

  • Detectives Price and McKeon are called to the scene - a husband and wife found slumped in their car, parked sideways on a busy downtown on-ramp, a bullet in each of their heads. That's what's in the papers, and that's all the public sees. Toronto the Good, with occasional specks of random badness.

    But behind that disposable headline, Toronto's shadow city sprawls outwards, a grasping and vicious economy of drugs, guns, sex, and gold bullion. And that shadow city feels just like home for Get - a Detroit boy, project-raised, ex-army, Iraq and Afghanistan, only signed up for the business opportunities, plenty of them over there. Now he's back, and he's been sent up here by his family to sell guns to Toronto's fast-rising biker gangs, maybe even see about a partnership.

    The man Get needs to talk to is Nugs, leader of the Saints of Hell. Nugs is overseeing unprecedented progress, taking the club national, uniting bikers coast-to-coast (by force if necessary), pushing back against the Italians, and introducing a veneer of respectability. Beards trimmed to goatees, golf shirts instead of leather jackets, and SUVs replacing the bikes. And now the cops can't tell the difference between bikers and bankers.

    Detectives Price and McKeon? All they can do is watch and grimace and drink, and sweep up the detritus left in crime's wake - dead hookers, cops corrupted and discarded, anyone else too slow and weak to keep up, or too stupid not to get out of the way. This is Toronto's shadow city, and you won't recognize it.

    "Canada's answer to Elmore Leonard is going places . . ."
    - Toronto Star

  • In the middle of the afternoon on a busy downtown Toronto street a man is shot in the head behind the wheel of his SUV. The killer drives away before the light changes. It could be road rage, or it could be a random act of violence.

    It could be, but it isn't. What it is, is opportunity. For everyone involved.

    The witness, Roxanne Keyes, a real estate agent trying desperately to lease out space in unwanted office space, recognizes the killer - a man who had once looked to rent with her. She figures with this kind of leverage he'll be a lot more interested now. Except he's Boris Suliemanov, a Russian mobster in the strip club business, who's now busy taking out competitors and expanding into drugs and grand theft auto. Then there's Vince Fournier, a cool guy with a mysterious past who might be able to help Roxanne deal with Boris if he gets what he wants. He rents space in her building for his internet porn company, but he's looking for a little more from her. And finally, the homicide squad cops can see their own opportunities in the brazen, daytime murder. In the tradition of Elmore Leonard and Christopher Brookmyre, Dirty Sweet is a fast-paced crime story following each character to a surprising end.

  • Detectives Price and McKeon are called to the scene - a husband and wife found slumped in their car, parked sideways on a busy downtown on-ramp, a bullet in each of their heads. That's what's in the papers, and that's all the public sees. Toronto the Good, with occasional specks of random badness.

    But behind that disposable headline, Toronto's shadow city sprawls outwards, a grasping and vicious economy of drugs, guns, sex, and gold bullion. And that shadow city feels just like home for Get - a Detroit boy, project-raised, ex-army, Iraq and Afghanistan, only signed up for the business opportunities, plenty of them over there. Now he's back, and he's been sent up here by his family to sell guns to Toronto's fast-rising biker gangs, maybe even see about a partnership.

    The man Get needs to talk to is Nugs, leader of the Saints of Hell. Nugs is overseeing unprecedented progress, taking the club national, uniting bikers coast-to-coast (by force if necessary), pushing back against the Italians, and introducing a veneer of respectability. Beards trimmed to goatees, golf shirts instead of leather jackets, and SUVs replacing the bikes. And now the cops can't tell the difference between bikers and bankers.

    Detectives Price and McKeon? All they can do is watch and grimace and drink, and sweep up the detritus left in crime's wake - dead hookers, cops corrupted and discarded, anyone else too slow and weak to keep up, or too stupid not to get out of the way. This is Toronto's shadow city, and you won't recognize it.

    "Canada's answer to Elmore Leonard is going places . . ."
    - Toronto Star

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