The Delicate Storm by Giles Blunt

The Delicate Storm by Giles Blunt

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Hardcover (available in mass market, 301 pages, 2003

Rating: 7/10

Reason for Reading: I was hearing so-so things about this one, but I liked Forty Words For Sorrow enough to read it anyway.

Synopsis: In this second book of the John Cardinal series, a warm spell in the middle of January brings out the bears, along with the bones they’ve been chewing on. Detective Cardinal is having problems even identifying the body, when word comes that this case may be tied to the FLQ terrorist case in Quebec in 1970, a situation that left a political figure dead. It’s a tough case to begin with, but with the FLQ connections comes cover-ups from unexpected places that will make this a terrible case for Cardinal and his partner Delorme to crack.

Why you should read this book: Blunt writes his characters well, and manages to avoid most of the clich&#233s that normally surface in books with police interrogation and a lot of dialogue. What Blunt gives up in suspense he replaces with the realities of being an every day cop, which some readers might see as a positive. Once Blunt finds a happy medium between a bloodbath and mundane reality, the Cardinal series should be set to explode for fans of police books, suspense thrillers, and forensic work.

Why you should avoid this book: One can’t help but be disappointed reading this book after Forty Words For Sorrow. All of the suspense from the first book in the Cardinal series has been replaced by old-fashioned police footwork: knocking on doors and interviewing people. It just can’t touch the creepy stomach-churning, pulse-quickening feeling of reading about a blood-thirsty serial killer.

Opening paragraph:

First came the warmth. Three weeks after New Year’s, and the thermometer did what it never does in January in Algonquin Bay: it rose above the freezing mark. Within a matter of hours the streets were shiny and black with melted snow.

Fabulous quotes:

The .38 glinted in the light from the window. Cardinal did as he was told and stared at the wall. ‘What are you?’ he said. ‘About eighteen?’

‘You’re way off. And we’ve got more important things to talk about.’ The kid patted him down, looking for an ankle holster. Cardinal didn’t carry one. ‘For starters, how do we get out of this?’

‘What do you mean “we”? You’re the one who just assaulted a police officer. And I have a feeling that – unless you’re RCMP – you’re not licensed to carry that thirty-eight, junior.’

‘And you’re the cop who just let his gun be taken away. I don’t think we want word of that getting around town, do we?’

He turned round to look at Cardinal. ‘Besides. Despite what happened to me, I’ve always liked Canadians. The people who kidnapped me were extremists. I had, and to this day still have, many French Canadian friends. But Canadians in general are a happy medium between your hidebound Englishman and your brash American. That’s my experience, anyway. Perhaps you disagree.’

Also recommended: The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver; The Blue Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver.

Also by this author: By the Time You Read This; Blackfly Season; Cold Eye; Forty Words for Sorrow.

Author’s website:

© Lisa Yanaky 2003-2007

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *