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By the Time You Read This by Giles Blunt
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By the Time You Read This (2006)

by Giles Blunt

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I enjoy this series, and I thought Blunt's description of grief was vivid, but the mystery was forced and less then satisfying. ( )
  mkunruh | Nov 13, 2016 |
Published in the UK under the title Fields of Grief

John Cardinal, a small-town policeman, seems pretty run-of-the mill, like his community. Algonquin Bay sits on a lake, surrounded by Northern Ontario rocky forests. There are the usual little crimes and petty injustices to deal with. One night, however, while on the discomforting task of exposing an adultery situation, John is called to an accident scene. A woman has fallen from a new high rise. Or was she pushed? Or did she jump? This is of particular importance to John, because it turns out the woman is his wife, Catherine.

The book reads like a standalone novel, which I mean as a compliment: I never felt like I was entering Cardinal's life mid-story; there were no awkward references to past cases thrown in to connect this installment up with previous books. The mystery of Catherine's death is not easily unraveled: the evidence Cardinal uncovers leads him to erroneous conclusions, and the reader is likely to be misled as well. Blunt's principal bad guy is an unusual character, with unusual motivations. His identity is revealed to us not quite halfway into the book, and when it comes the subtle revelation is downright chilling. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Fields of Grief by Giles Blunt is the fourth book in his series featuring Detectives John Cardinal and Lise Delorme. Set in the fictional town of Algonquin Bay, Ontario some four hours north of Toronto. John Cardinal is on leave trying to put the pieces together relating to a personal tragedy, meanwhile Lise Delorme is involved in a case of child pornography.

I find this a consistently good series, well written with engrossing storylines. Fields of Grief seemed more straight forward that most of his books, I pretty much knew the outcome of both cases the two main characters were following quite early in the story, yet the book still held my attention and involved me emotionally to the end.

I enjoy reading about both these characters. John Cardinal goes about his work in a direct, thoughtful, linear manner while Lise Delorme is more intuitive, relying on her emotions and becomes very passionate about her work. I look forward to the next book. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jun 23, 2015 |
A fine 4th novel in the series of police procedurals featuring Detective John Cardinal, which are set in the fictitious town of Algonquin Bay in rural Ontario. In this tale, Cardinal's wife dies from an apparent suicidal jump from the roof of a building where she was doing a photographic session. While John deals with his grief and tries to come to terms with the sad outcome of his wife's bipolar illness, his team investigates a cold case of child pornography and child abuse. Blunt's development of his characters and weaving of the efforts of the struggling investigators with the dodging of their criminal prey provide a pleasurable read. I equally enjoyed two others in this satisfying series. ( )
  Hanneri | May 20, 2015 |
The assumed suicide that turns out not to be a suicide at all has become something of a cliche in murder mysteries, yet there is nothing in "By the Time You Read This" by Giles Blunt that reads like something you've read before. The suicide in this 2006 novel happens to be that of Catherine, the beloved, manic-depressive wife of Detective John Cardinal of the Algonquin Bay Police Department in Canada. If you have read earlier stories in the series you will know Catherine has been in and out of hospitals because of her severe depression. Yet at other times she is a gifted photographer and a loving wife and mother.

When her body is found to have fallen from a tall building where she was taking pictures at night and a suicide note in her handwriting is found as well, the conclusion seems obvious. Yet Cardinal, though he is placed on leave, won't let it rest. He discovers the suicide note was written weeks before Catherine's death and bears someone's fingerprints other than her own.

Meanwhile Sgt. Lisa Delorme, one of Cardinal's colleagues on the force, is assigned to a child pornography case. Evidence suggests the photographs were taken in the Algonquin Bay area. Amazingly, the pornography case and Catherine's apparent suicide have a thin connection to one another.

This novel by the Canadian author, whose books are not as readily available in the U.S. as I would like, makes riveting reading from beginning to end, which is somewhat surprising in that Blunt, unlike most mystery writers, gives the surprises away early. Readers know what happened and who's responsible long before Cardinal and Delorme do. Yet revealing the killer at the beginning of each episode never prevented Columbo from becoming one of the most popular TV detectives ever. Perhaps Giles Blunt is a fan. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Oct 15, 2014 |
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Epigraph
I know I could kill someone. I know
I could kill myself.

--The Journals of Sylvia Plath
Dedication
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Nothing bad could ever happen on Madonna Road.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Alternate title "the Fields of Grief".
Canadian / US title is "By the time you read this".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805080619, Hardcover)

Detective John Cardinal is on the hunt for an ingenious killer even as he mourns his own wife’s tragic death in this thriller of heart-stopping suspense
 
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.
 
In his most masterful and thrilling novel yet, Giles Blunt confirms his reputation as a rising international star in crime fiction, and positions Detective John Cardinal among the finest characters in the genre.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:02 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Autumn is peaceful in Algonquin Bay. It's the one gorgeous season that makes sense of all others. But even autumn can be cruel, and this year its beauty is tinged with something sinister." "Sergeant Lise Delorme has been handed an unsavory assignment from the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit; a young girl appears in a series of unspeakable photos being traded online among sexual predators, and background elements indicate that she may live in Alonquin Bay. Delorme's partner and friend, John Cardinal, is not fit to help her with the investigation; in fact, Cardinal has suffered a loss so devastating that his colleagues fear for his sanity. Where Cardinal suspects a heinous crime, others see only a tragic and unavoidable event."."As Delorme closes in on one predator, Cardinal receives the first in a string of menacing letters, and his hunt for an elusive murderer gains momentum. Soon, he will find himself tracking a killer so ingenious that the accepted bounds of criminal justice do not apply."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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