Monday, October 02, 2006

By the Time You Read This

By the Time You Read This by Giles Blunt

Wow. I just finished reading this book and it's really good.

Crime fiction is not usually my thing, but I have to say that I really enjoyed this one. Beyond having a captivating story, the novel is well-written, remarkably so.
Autumn has arrived in Algonquin Bay, and with it an unusual spate of suicides. The most shocking victim yet is Detective John Cardinal’s wife, who has finally succumbed to her battle with manic depression. As Cardinal takes time to grieve, his partner, Lise Delorme, handles an unsavory assignment: a young girl appears in a series of unspeakable photos being traded online, and background elements indicate she lives in Algonquin Bay. Delorme is desperate to find the girl before she suffers more abuse.
When Cardinal receives a string of hateful anonymous notes about his wife’s death, he begins to suspect homicide. His colleagues believe he is too distraught to think clearly, and he’s forced to investigate alone. In doing so, he comes up against a brand of killer neither he—nor the reader—has ever seen before.
By the Time You Read This (published as The Fields of Grief in the UK) is Blunt's fourth John Cardinal book after Forty Words for Sorrow (2000), The Delicate Storm (2002), and Black Fly Season (2005). Since I'll freely admit that I haven't read any of the earlier books, I can testify that this book stands on its own.

Set in the fictional town of Algonquin Bay, the novel seems to exude the essence of Ontario. The setting is subtle, but it seems to be an integral part of the story.

It is very hard to explain the way this book makes you feel. I can easily imagine it being adapted for film because of the way it's written; it's very cinematic. Blunt takes readers on a journey throughout the course of the novel. There is a slow comprehension. One is carried through the novel always engaged.

I had to include the synopsis because I feel like I can't say anything substantial without including spoilers. Suffice it to say that the killer and the extent of his crimes are horrific. And, it seems to me, the reader figures things out at exactly the right time.


  1. Stinker, posting a link here instead of to BookCrossing! *laughs*

    Rock on, girlfriend!

  2. but... but... *whimpers* I haven't registered the book yet...

  3. I love Giles Blunt - Ive read two of his novels. His description of Algonquin is breathtaking.


  4. I love Giles Blunt - Ive read two of his novels. His description of Algonquin is breathtaking.


  5. Adding it to my TBR list. I love crime fiction.