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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: #320,084 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) 3.9 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Knows What Evil Lurks ... the Shade-O Knows! Oct. 10 2013
By Timothy J. Mccarthy - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Brad Shade is a man of many talents, but more than a few limitations. A near-star hockey player, he retired from the game with one good knee remaining and took up scouting for the NHL's L.A. franchise. He's pretty good at it, but because of some recent management changes, his job security is iffy. He's studied criminology though, and has done a bit of detective work, with a little help from his dad who's a retired police sergeant, so he does have options. While scouting in Regina (that's up on the chilly plains of Saskatchewan, eh?), he learns that an old teammate has just committed suicide in a small town just four hours away. He would have taken a pass, but with his girlfriend pointing out his problems with commitment issues and not supporting old friends, he decides to look in on the widow. Before long he finds that all is not as it seems in sleepy little Swift Current, which is a decidedly unfriendly kind of place.

This is the second in the Brad Shade series, but while it could have stood a tad more back-story, it works fine as a stand-alone novel. Shade is a curious fellow, who is clever and witty enough that you want to like him, but sleazy and arrogant enough to make you reconsider. That tantalizing dichotomy is nicely balanced and adds some depth to the story. This isn't as sophisticated and complex as some thrillers, but there are several layers to peel back, which suits Shade's reluctant hero style.

You don't have to be a hockey fan to enjoy the book, but it does help. Most denizens of the Lower 48 have no comprehension of what a huge part hockey plays in small town Canada; it makes high school football in rural Texas look like a passing fancy. This story brings some of that to life and brings the book up a level.

If you're not well versed in Canadiana, then reading this book will be a little like reading an English novel, and some references and colloquialisms might slip past you. (e.g. "Enjoying a Canadian" is not a sensual reference, but indicates what brand of beer you're drinking.) But it's a lot of fun and pretty fast moving, and will probably hook you on the Shade series for life.
3.0 out of 5 stars The Worst Hockey Games Are the Dull Ones July 28 2014
By Richard A. Mitchell - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I know hockey and am a mild fan, but I don't think even a great fan would love this book. The main character, Brad Shade, is a former player for the LA Kings who is now scouting. Hockey is in the background (with random yarns of other former players thrown in randomly), but is not a major theme. The mystery is just ok. There is very little "investigation" besides the theft of a diary. There is lots of driving and fights, seemingly without cause. Brad brings another player along (Chief) and his only purpose seems to be to win the fights and be put out of his way by Brad.

The best character is the murder victim who is found dead in the first few pages. Unfortunately, he does not say much. Brad Shade is a character I just could not figure out. On the one hand he tries to be the hard-oiled P.I. On the other, he philosophizes unmercifully. He doesn't want to be a womanizer, but beds 'em easily. This is in the first person and Brad drones.

My biggest criticism of the book - which I enjoyed for more than the first half - is that it really dragged towards the end. It came to a resounding halt with about thirty pages to go. Then, of course, it wrapped up in two with a fairly unsatisfying ending.

There are great mystery writers out there. Too many good ones to spend time on this mediocre one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book June 20 2014
By Ann M. Pitman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is not the type of mystery I usually read, I think of it as more of a man's book, because of the detail given to certain . . . manly subjects. But once I got into it, I really enjoyed it. I liked the characters and the story moved alone well, and I highly recommend this book.
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.

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