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Death Spiral [Paperback]

James Nichol
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 8 2009
This complex, multi-layered thriller opens with a hero’s welcome for the wounded Wilf McLauchlin, a celebrated WWII Canadian Spitfire fighter pilot. Almost immediately after his homecoming, a series of bizarre murders erupt in his hometown. Wilf finds himself trying to solve them and wondering if he is somehow causing them. Wilf follows his own trail back to when he was shot down over Germany in the last days of the war and makes the shattering connection.
*Nominated for the Arthur Ellis Best Novel Award and shortlisted for the 2011 Evergreen Award

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Review

"This excellent third novel by Nichol, winner of the Arthur Ellis Award in 2002 for Midnight Cab, is perfect for the Second World War buff on your list, as well as fans of good Canadian crime fiction." (Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail)

"Leave it to Nichol to find the right ending for this unforgettable story." (Halifax Chronicle-Herald)

“Nichol displays a provocative talent for writing that gets under your skin . . . Death Spiral deepens this rich capacity with stylish and edgy writing to give us a confrontational piece of addictive fiction.” (Hamilton Spectator)

“Nichol has served up a fast-paced yet nuanced story that explores the cost of war on those who fight it, and demonstrates that the postwar home front was not with- out its own terrors.” (Sherbrooke Record)

About the Author

James W. Nichol has written two other novels, MIDNIGHT CAB and TRANSGRESSION. He lives in Stratford, Ontario.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, complicated murder-mystery/thriller July 13 2013
By Betty Gelean TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
James W. Nichol has given us a well-written, complicated murder mystery/thriller. Beginning with the protagonist Canadian pilot Wilf McLaughlin during WWII, under heavy fire and toward the end of the war, begins his death spiral as his Spitfire speeds to meet the earth the hard way. "I'm dead" is one of his last thoughts.

But death did not claim him. His plane is found days later with him still in it. His injuries are very serious but he is still alive. After several months in hospital, he returns home to a hero's welcome, but his head full of questions. With one useless arm, and a damaged leg as his main physical problems, there is much more going on in regard to his crash, not the least of which is several days of unaccounted for time, and unexplained blindness for 3 months.

Starting out working in his father's law office, reconnecting with his old friend Andy who is in the police force, and gradually connecting with Carol, his father's secretary, life begins again, but he suddenly finds himself in another type of death spiral. Several deaths in a small town raise eyebrows and awareness and when Wilf seems to be involved in one way or another, whispers around town begin. The deaths all appear to have happened since he came home.

The author has concocted a number of unusual deaths that appear to be unrelated and in some cases appear to be natural causes or accidents. But Wilf will not accept these quick decisions and is sure that they are all related and are in fact, murders. He convinces Andy to help him investigate "unofficially", help that causes Andy a demotion, devastating for a family man.
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