I quite enjoyed the first book (The Code) featuring pro hockey scout and amateur private eye, Brad Shade. Here, he gets tangled up in the apparent suicide of a former roommate the tiny Saskatchewan prairie town of Swift Current. Over the course of ten days, Shade finds himself battling high school football heroes, over-the-hill ex-con bikers, the local drug queen, the code of silence that surrounds the town, and his old roommate's dark past. His sidekicks for his unofficial investigation are his Blackberry, a lower-level First Nations scout who distinguished himself in the pro game as a fighter, and various women who fall all over themselves to do him favors (yes, those kind too...).
Shade makes for an excellent variation of a classic private eye -- full of personal demons and failings, but well-aware of them while still managing to sabotage relationships. Tough enough to mix it up with bad guys, but not invincible due to various old injuries. Tech savvy and always with one eye on his Blackberry battery. The crime itself gets a little convoluted, but keeps the pages turning at a brisk pace. There are one or two handy coincidences along the way, but the pacing is so brisk (chapters are very short) that they don't stick out too badly. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a Canadian crime novel, or readers who like sports-themed mysteries. Good stuff, look forward to the next in the series!