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Victim of Convenience: A Chris Crane Mystery Paperback – Aug 19 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn (Aug. 19 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550026178
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550026177
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 45 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,253,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


The best parts of the novel are those that reveal the financial and legal machinations that, ultimately, put gasoline in our cars. It's complex, but Ballem makes it easy to understand - and exciting.


A Victim of Convenience is ample evidence of Ballem's mastery of the craft of mystery writing.

(The Hamilton Spectator 2006-10-14)

A Victim of Convenience is an imaginative whodunit.

(Amanda McKellar Alberta Views 2006-11-01)

His work feels nicely Canadian.

(Joan Barfoot The London Free Press 2006-10-14)

Calgary, Canada's booming oil capital, is caught in the grip of terror as a serial killer with the chilling nickname TLC stalks its streets and pathways. His rampage has put intense pressure on Homicide Detective Chris Crane, the lead investigator in the case. TLC can seemingly strike at will, blatantly displaying the obscenely mutilated bodies of his victims in city parks. As the body count steadily mounts, TLC zeroes in on Chris, acknowledging him as a worthy opponent in the deadly game.

But are the taunts really from TLC? Or are they the work of a sick impersonator? And is there a copycat taking advantage of the situation? Chris must grapple with these and other frustrating questions as he seeks to unmask a killer who, despite his flamboyance and risky taunting of the police, manages to stage his grisly showpieces without leaving any clues behind.

About the Author

Author, attorney, and oilman, John Ballem has lived and practised energy law in Calgary since the mid-fifties. A Victim of Convenience is his twelfth novel. He has also published numerous short stories, a volume of poetry, and a legal textbook. He travels extensively throughout the world.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa673190c) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb3a72660) out of 5 stars Convenient size and price, with a convenient and satisfying ending Nov. 25 2008
By Cheryl Tardif - Published on
Format: Paperback
John Ballem's novel A Victim of Convenience (Castle Street Mysteries) is part crime novel, part mystery and wholly satisfying to read. It is set in Calgary, the oil capital of Canada, and has an interesting ensemble of characters that allows Ballem to cast suspicion in numerous directions.

Detective Chris Crane is investigating a serial killer nicknamed TLC. The murderer's methods are gruesome; he mutilates his victims and poses them. As the body count rises and cryptic notes begin to appear, Chris must solve the identity of a killer--before another woman dies.

Well researched, tightly written, suspenseful and believable, A Victim of Convenience has a gritty darkness, reminding me of James Patterson's Alex Cross series. Mystery lovers will enjoy this novel just as much.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
Author of Divine Intervention
HASH(0xb3a64d14) out of 5 stars A Victim of Convenience Aug. 30 2007
By Anne K. Edwards - Published on
Format: Paperback
Someone in Calgary, Canada, is killing women and leaving their mutilated bodies in the public parks. Most of them are ordinary looking with no seeming connections, but the latest victim turns out to be a young lawyer connected to an important law firm that handles accounts for oil companies.

It appears to be the work of the same killer with all the same clues. But Detective Chris Crane has his doubts. The problem is the question of who would want to kill the lady other than the serial killer. It is on that question that the investigation hinges.

As the investigation unravels the murder, Chris finds the finger of guilt pointing to several people. Could one of them, a coworker, an old boyfriend, a boss, a stock broker or others be the serial killer? Could the serial killings be intended to cover up the single murder of the lawyer?

Those are the questions Chris and his sidekick, Gwen, must deal with to resolve the murder and find the motive. With the city in a state of near panic over the killings, the pressure is on to solve the case quickly. Can it be done?

Using a journalist to feed information to the press to make the killer contact them, Chris succeeds beyond expectations when he learns the identity of the killer. Lots of tension in this well told tale that will keep you reading. Red herrings and false trails will have you testing your ability to outguess the detective.

I'm happy to recommend this book by talented author John Ballem to any mystery or thriller fan. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I sure did.