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A Little More Free by John McFetridge
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A Little More Free

by John McFetridge

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It's 1972 and Montreal is preparing to be the first host of the Canada-Soviet Union "Summit Series" (hint: this is the one with Paul Henderson's famous goal). Meanwhile, Constable Eddie Dougherty is walking the beat and helping with various cases: a break-in at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, a horrific nightclub fire in which nearly 40 people die, and the murder of an American who came to Canada to protest the Vietnam War. Along the way, Eddie deals with family issues and tries to figure out what he wants out of his career: does he want to continue being a constable, or is the lure of working in Homicide with Detective Carpentier going to send him up the ranks?

I enjoy the concept behind and atmosphere of this series. The break-in at the museum and the nightclub fire are real events, as of course is the Summit Series. The historical backdrop is well done, and I also like the fact that Eddie is a bilingual Anglo Montrealer (English father, French mother). This allows us to see how the English and French cultures in Montreal interact. There's plenty of French scattered throughout the text for atmosphere, and translations are provided in clever ways so that you don't actually need to know French in order to understand. Some of the narration is a bit too laconic and fractured for my taste (there's a lot of "Dougherty said yeah" and "Dougherty figured that"), and the pacing could have picked up a bit at the end, but overall I'm glad I read this. Now I'll go back and read the first book in the series! ( )
  rabbitprincess | Mar 27, 2016 |
Working with a deceptively simple style that echoes Joseph Wambaugh, McFetridge has delivered an unpredictable mystery, a fine character study, and a vivid snapshot of 1972 Montreal.
 
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Montreal, Labour Day weekend, 1972. The city is getting ready to host the first game in the legendary Summit Series between Canada and the USSR. Three men set fire to a nightclub and Constable Eddie Dougherty witnesses the deaths of 37 people. The Museum of Fine Arts is robbed and two million dollars’ worth of paintings are stolen. Against the backdrop of these historic events, Dougherty discovers the body of a murdered young man on Mount Royal. As he tries to prove he has the stuff to become a detective, he is drawn into the world of American draft dodgers and deserters, class politics, and organized crime.

A Little More Free, the second Eddie Dougherty mystery, presents a portrait of a city and an officer trying to find out where they stand in a divisive and rapidly changing world.
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Montreal, Labor Day weekend, 1972. The city is getting ready to host the first game in the legendary Summit Series between Canada and the USSR. Three men set fire to a nightclub and Constable Eddie Dougherty witnesses the deaths of 37 people. The Museum of Fine Arts is robbed and two million dollars' worth of paintings are stolen. Against the backdrop of these historic events, Dougherty discovers the body of a murdered young man on Mount Royal. As he tries to prove he has the stuff to become a detective, he is drawn into the world of American draft dodgers and deserters, class politics, and organized crime.… (more)

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ECW Press

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