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By the Time You Read This [Mass Market Paperback]

Giles Blunt
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 29 2008

In Algonquin Bay, Detective John Cardinal suffers a devastating loss. He arrives at a grisly crime scene only to discover that the victim is his own wife, who left a suicide note at the scene. But when Cardinal begins to receive a series of threatening letters, he suspects that his wife may not have taken her own life—and that there may be more to her suicide note than meets the eye.

While Cardinal takes time to grieve, his partner, Sargeant Lise Delorme, is investigating a high-profile sex crime involving a young girl whose abuse is being broadcast online—and who appears to be a resident of Algonquin Bay. Things are heating up in this quiet, costal town as both Delorme and Cardinal find themselves tracking predators so diabolical that the accepted bounds of criminal justice no longer apply….


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From Amazon

In his Silver Dagger-winning crime novels, author Giles Blunt creates the perfect blend of police-procedural, psychological thriller and atmospheric locale (think chilly Algonquin Bay). We asked Blunt if he would give us some insight about By the Time You Read This, the much anticipated fourth instalment of the Det. John Cardinal series. He kindly obliged with the following "Letter to Readers." --Lauren Nemroff

A Letter to Readers from Giles Blunt

Dear Readers,

Through my past four books, I’ve been living with a character named John Cardinal, a police detective from northern Ontario who has had to track down some hideously evil people, but who has also endeared himself to me and to many readers through the deep attachment he has had to his troubled wife, Catherine. I believe the new Cardinal novel, By The Time You Read This, is the most emotionally involving yet. Catherine dies in chapter one, and Cardinal’s grief pervades the rest of the book as he tries to make sense of her death. This was painful to write at times, and I can only hope you will be moved by it.

Another reason I’m particularly excited is that, this time out, Cardinal encounters a murderer and a method of killing that neither he nor I have ever seen before. I’m pretty sure even hardcore crime-novel addicts will find it unique, believable, and completely horrifying. I want to tell you all about it but I can’t without spoiling the story. I know, I know, one can only be skeptical of an author who pronounces himself pleased with his book but when pressed as to why promptly takes a vow of silence.

But what can I do? I’ll just have to clam up and hope you enjoy the story.

Best wishes,

Giles Blunt --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Set in remote Algonquin Bay, Ontario, Blunt's compelling fourth crime novel to feature John Cardinal (after Blackfly Season) finds the police detective mourning the death of his wife, an apparent suicide. Then Cardinal starts receiving cold, hate-filled notes gloating over his loss. Stirred and angered into believing that his wife may have been murdered, he sets about looking into who might be refusing to let the dead—or, more particularly, himself—rest easy. Meanwhile, his partner, Lise Delorme, is busy trying to track down the pedophile responsible for a cache of appalling photos featuring a small girl who may live in or near Algonquin Bay. An unexpected yet utterly realistic twist lifts this novel into extremely interesting (and entertaining) territory. Sharp dialogue, complex characters and a satisfying conclusion should help Blunt, who has won Britain's Silver Dagger and Canada's Arthur Ellis Award, win new readers in the U.S. Author tour. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into the dark places June 17 2007
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
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.

A photographer who often went out on solitary picture excursions - even in an Ontario winter - Catherine is also a depressive. She's been in the dark places. She's been hospitalised several times, returning to a warm homecoming and declaring "How lucky I am!" to have a family which can deal with her problems. That luck seems to have run out, or is it eroded? The last option, suicide, appears to be the cause of her death. There's even a note: "By the time you read this . . .". That should close the case and John Cardinal should take some time to work through his grief. His own dark time is just beginning.

John and Catherine were together too long and they knew each other too well for this copper to rest on easy answers. The note is an enigma, not clarified by some disturbing mail John receives. Little bits of information, imparted willingly or inadvertently, build suspicions in his mind, and he must follow them through. To get to the resolution, John encounters some disturbing elements. A child pornography "ring" on the Internet has reached his town. In fact, it might be centred in Algonquin Bay as Cardinal's colleague Lise Delorme is undertaking to determine. How dark is that news to a town where vulnerable children are supposed to be a rarity?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent June 29 2007
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
The book is drenched in sadness; it is beautifully written and the story is very poignant. Blunt in my view delivers a riveting thriller.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... a murder has been done March 4 2007
If there's any justice in the reading world, then "By the Time You Read This" will get Giles Blunt some serious notice. That's because Blunt has topped himself in his fourth mystery novel involving John Cardinal and the fictional town of Algonquin Bay, with his darkly compelling writing, excellent characters, and a brilliantly harrowing finale.

Cop John Cardinal is on a stakeout when he is called in to a suicide, a woman jumping off a building -- and it turns out to be his wife Catherine. Cardinal is devastated by her loss, but he starts to suspect that her death was not suicide when a series of cruel, taunting cards start arriving. His fellow cops (and Catherine's shrink) think he's just in denial, especially since a suicide note in Catherine's handwriting was found beside her body.

Meanwhile detective Lise Delorme is investigating a child pornography case -- a series of photos of a man and a little girl -- and little details reveal that they were taken in Algonquin Bay. Meanwhile, Cardinal continues to find discrepancies in the supposed suicide, and as the clues slowly come together, he finds himself face to face with a killer who uses the most horrific weapon imaginable against his victims...

"By the Time You Read This" is one of those rare books that successfully straddles the line between psychological horror and crime mysteries. Blunt does have a little awkwardness -- the beginning is strainedly poetic, and the end could have used a couple more chapters to wrap everything up -- but the bulk of the book is pure gold.

Basically, Blunt is perfectly suited to mystery writing. His writing casts a dark, noirish light on everything, where everyone is untrustworthy and all sorts of nasty secrets simmer just under the surface.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good read Dec 5 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
wonderfully written.riveting and knowing the venue of the book helped.I am anxiously awaiting his next book as follow-up to this story
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