Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Ordinary Decent Criminal-Michael Van Rooy

An Ordinary Decent Criminal
Michael Van Rooy
Minotaur, Aug 3 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312606282

In Winnipeg, career criminal; Montgomery Haaviko is trying to stay legit. His efforts to stay straight are fueled by his wonderful wife and their child. However, his intentions fail when three men break into his home. Though they are armed, Haaviko kills them in self-defense.

He explains to the cops what transpired, but his past catches up with him and he is arrested for murder. Distrusting the Canadian judicial system to give him a fair shake, Haaviko refuses to talk to the police without a lawyer present. The cops severely batter him into unconsciousness trying to make him confess, but he remains mute. Later, in spite of the claim by the police that he confessed Haaviko and his lawyer force all charges to be dropped. However, legally from his point of view the case closed but he is unable to obtain employment. Someone has begun a crusade informing prospective employers that Haaviko is a career felon who just got away with murder.

This is a terrific gritty Canadian crime thriller in which the hero struggles with his past haunting him while he escorts the audience through the harsh criminal underbelly of the city. The story line starts incredible fast-paced and loaded with action, but eventually slightly decelerates as Monty’s woes take center stage. Readers will appreciate this delightfully often darkly humored tale of how difficult it is going straight especially when someone wants to get Monty.

Harriet Klausner

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