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The Black Ace [Paperback]

G.B. Joyce

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Book Description

March 12 2013

Hatred, blackmail, and murder—a Brad Shade hat trick. The Black Ace reunites us with our favourite, savvy fourth-liner, with plot twists, wisecracks, and an ending that could only come from G.B. Joyce.

Thanks to Shade’s work at the NHL draft last season, he gets to hold on to his job as scout for L.A.—at least for now. But a journeyman’s work is never done. Shade is checking out the talent in Regina with his old friend and teammate “Chief.” But when they learn of the suicide of an old teammate from their playing days in L.A., they take a sometimes violent detour through the dark side of a small town with no shortage of secrets it wants kept at almost any cost.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Canada (March 12 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143187600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143187608
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #345,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“Hockey fan or not, this funny, smart and briskly-paced tale of small-town villainy by this Toronto sportswriter will grab you.” - Winnipeg Free Press

"The Black Ace is pure mystery and suspense, with great characters and a well-designed plot. Brad Shade is ready for a long run." - The Globe and Mail

"Hockey meets pulp fiction." - Toronto Star --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

G.B. Joyce is a feature writer and editor with Sportsnet magazine. He has written for ESPN the Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and the Ottawa Citizen, and has won four National Magazine Awards. Joyce is the author of eight books.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Hockey-Themed Murder Mystery Aug. 21 2013
By A. Ross - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable With Good Local Color Sept. 15 2013
By Bonner '62 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Don't let the 3 starts scare you. I am a tough grader and three starts means a good read. This is a follow up to the author's first book in the series after The Code. The author's strong point is local color. In The Code the mystery really took a backseat to the life of a NHL scout. It was fascinating to me. In this book it is the detailed view of a Canadian prairie town whose claim to fame is a junior hockey team that takes center stage. The protagonist comes to pay respects to the widow of a former teammate. In order to help out he gets sucked into helping investigate the death that the local RCMP has written off as a suicide. The motivations of various big fish in this small, dreary pond are what makes the story go. Again the mystery was not up to the scene setting. Frankly I found it a bit confusing. I will continue with the series because I like the author's narrative style and his ability of create believable characters. There were hints that the author will be leaving the world of hockey for a more cut and dried investigative role for his protagonist. I will be a bit sorry to see hockey go by the boards but in truth it really isn't very integral to this story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but not great. Dec 3 2013
By muddyboy1 - Published on
This is a book about a former NHL hockey player and current scout who hears that one of his former teammates has committed suicide and so he decides to go pay his respects. He takes with him his first nations friend and associate who is known as "the Chief". While there he is approached by the players wife who believes it wasn't suicide at all but something darker going on. Therein lies the rub. The book is fast paced and well written but there is really nothing all that unique or extraordinary about the plot or its ultimate solution.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Black Ace May 21 2014
By BB - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
If you like and understand the game of hockey, then the first 80 pages will please you. Even when the complex interesting story moves forward, the author uses flashbacks which to non-hockey fans, just gets in the way of the story. I thought telling the story in the first person format worked well. I felt little sympathy for Brad Shade's problems, until he agreed to help the widow of his former teammate.

Interesting and satisfying conclusion to the plot. I have a feeling a sequel will be coming soon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Character Driven Mystery Nov. 29 2013
By Elly Sparks - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I love hockey, so this was a great read. I suppose even if you don't like hockey, you might find yourself very curious about the sport after reading The Black Ace. The story line was intriguing and the characters were flawed but likeable. The author does a great job of making the reader feel as if he/she is part of the story and the Canadian town the story is set in is quite colorful.

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