Excerpt from By the Time You Read This by Giles Blunt, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

By the Time You Read This

A Novel

by Giles Blunt

By the Time You Read This
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2007, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2008, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


“Damn it, why is my entire police force telling me she’s been seen around town but you won’t say where or by who? How would you feel if it was your wife? You’d want to know the truth, right?”

“Yes, I would.”

“Then I suggest you explain to me exactly what is going on, Detective. Otherwise, I’ll just have to deal directly with Chief Kendall, and you can be sure I won’t have anything good to say about you or that lunkhead McLeod.”


Which was how Cardinal came to be sitting in his car with the mayor of Algonquin Bay in the courtyard of the Birches Motel. Despite its name, the Birches was nowhere near a birch tree. It was not near a tree of any kind, being located in the heart of downtown on MacIntosh Street. In fact, it was no longer even the Birches Motel, having been taken over by Sunset Inns at least two years previously, but everybody still called it the Birches.

Cardinal was parked a dozen paces from Room 12. Szelagy was parked across the lot, but they didn’t acknowledge each other. Cardinal rolled the window down a little to keep the glass from fogging up. Even here in the middle of downtown, you could smell fallen leaves and, from someone’s fireplace, the comforting smell of wood smoke.

“You’re telling me she’s in there?” the mayor said. “My wife’s in that room?”

Surely he must know, Cardinal thought. How could it get to this stage—his wife staying out for days at a time and renting motel rooms—without his knowing?

“I don’t believe it,” Feckworth said. “It’s too tawdry.” But there was less conviction in his voice, as if seeing the actual motel room door was beginning to shatter his faith. “Cynthia’s a loyal person,” he added. “She prides herself on it.”

Cynthia Feckworth had in fact been sleeping her way around Algonquin Bay for at least the past four years; the mayor was the only one who didn’t know it. And who am I to tear off his blinders? Cardinal asked himself. Who am I to refuse anyone the sweet anesthetic of denial?

“Oh, she couldn’t be screwing someone else. That would be—if she’s letting another man—that’s it. I’ll dump her. You watch me. Oh, God, if she’s doing those things. . . .” Feckworth groaned and hid his face in his hands.

As if summoned by his anguish, the door to Room 12 opened and a man stepped out. He had the perfectly groomed look of a catalog model: Take advantage of our mid-autumn sale on men’s windbreakers.

“It’s Reg Wilcox,” the mayor said. “Sanitation. What would Reg be doing here?”

Wilcox ambled to his Ford Explorer with the slouchy, smug air of the well laid. Then he backed out of his space and drove off.

“Well, at least Cynthia wasn’t in there. That’s something,” Feckworth said. “Maybe I should just head home now and hope for the best.”

The door to Room 12 opened again, and an attractive woman peered out for a moment before closing the door behind her. She buttoned up her coat against the chill night air and headed toward the exit.

The mayor jumped out of the car and ran to block her path. Cardinal rolled up his window, not wanting to hear. His cell phone buzzed.

“Cardinal, why the hell don’t you answer your bloody radio?”

“I’m in my own car, Sergeant Flower. It’s too boring to explain.”

“All right, listen. We got a caller says there’s a dead one behind Gateway condos. You know the new building?”

“The Gateway? Just off the bypass? I didn’t even realize it was finished yet. Are we sure it isn’t a drunk sleeping it off?”

Excerpted from By the Time You Read This by Giles Blunt. Copyright © 2007 by Giles Blunt. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Under the Udala Trees
by Chinelo Okparanta

Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.