Summary and book reviews of Forty Words For Sorrow by Giles Blunt

Forty Words For Sorrow

by Giles Blunt

Forty Words For Sorrow by Giles Blunt X
Forty Words For Sorrow by Giles Blunt
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2001, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2002, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Superbly paced, with fully fleshed characters and utterly convincing police detail. "Blunt has done for Canada's north what James Lee Burke did for Cajun Louisiana."

When the badly decomposed body of thirteen-year-old Katie Pine is found in an abandoned mine shaft, John Cardinal is vindicated. It was Cardinal who'd kept the Pine case open--insisting she was no mere runaway--and Cardinal who'd been demoted to the burglary squad for his excessive zeal. But Katie Pine isn't the only youngster to have gone missing in the rural town of Algonquin Bay, and Cardinal is now given the go-ahead to reopen the files on three other lost kids. When another youth is reported missing, he begins to see a pattern that screams "serial killer."

Meanwhile, the brass have partnered him with Lisa Delorme, newly shifted to homicide from the Office of Special Investigations, and Cardinal can't help but wonder if she's been sent to keep tabs on him. A guilty conscience makes him think so.

Superbly paced, with fully fleshed characters and utterly convincing police detail, Forty Words for Sorrow is also a novel of place that transcends genre. Blunt puts us in a small Canadian town in the dead of winter and makes us feel the cold, then turns the cold into a metaphor for the destruction of young lives.

Chapter 1

It gets dark early in Algonquin Bay. Take a drive up Airport Hill at four o'clock on a February afternoon, and when you come back half an hour later the streets of the city will glitter below you in the dark like so many runways. The forty-sixth parallel may not be all that far north; you can be much farther north and still be in the United States, and even London, England, is a few degrees closer to the North Pole. But this is Ontario, Canada, we're talking about, and Algonquin Bay in February is the very definition of winter: Algonquin Bay is snowbound, Algonquin Bay is quiet, Algonquin Bay is very, very cold.

John Cardinal was driving home from the airport where he had just watched his daughter, Kelly, board a plane bound for the United States by way of Toronto. The car still smelled of her--or at least of the scent that had lately become her trademark: Rhapsody or Ecstasy or some such. To Cardinal, wife gone and now daughter gone, it smelled of loneliness. ...

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!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Toronto Globe and Mail - Margaret Cannon
Blunt has done for Canada's north what James Lee Burke did for Cajun Louisiana.

Bookpage
[H]e populates his novel with vivid and complex characters....And, as far as villains go, they don't come much more evil than this.

Harper's Baazar
Blunt's chilly, gruesome tale gets into the fascinating minutiae of police work without ever losing its grasp on the human element.

Kirkus Reviews
Polished, at times poetic but more frequently horrific, and especially moving in dealing with Cardinal's wife Catherine, hospitalized for depression. Former TV writer Blunt (Cold Eye, not reviewed) is a helluva storyteller, and his John Cardinal probably has a long career ahead of him.

Booklist
Blunt's handling of procedure...is masterful....A completely absorbing series debut...

Author Blurb Tony Hillerman
I wish I had written Forty Words for Sorrow...If you miss it you'll miss one of best novels of 2001.

Author Blurb Lee Child
Intensely vivid characters, terrible crimes, and a brutal deep-frozen landscape all prove beyond a reasonable doubt....

Reader Reviews

lu-anna

i thought this was an awsome book! amazing from start to finish. the fact that youre not only in one person's view, but others aswell, makes it unique, and a great read. if i could, i would give it a 6/5

Mary

We read Forty Words for Sorrow in a mystery readering group. Lately, our choices have been so-so at best, but this book was completely engrossing. The writing is vivid and free of the usual clutter and bumbling that distract the mind from a story. ...   Read More

Karim

I picked 40 Words for Sorrow up from an Amtrak station bookstore to have something to read on the train. And I will tell you this, I now enjoy my hour and a half coming and going to work. This book is lively, with believable characters and an ...   Read More

Kittie

I was reading an other great book Daddy's Little Girl and I was almost done with it so I need an other book to read because Daddy's Little Girl is for school. I took my mom's book which happend to be Forty Words for Sorrow Which I haven't been able ...   Read More

Write your own review!

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!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Forty Words For Sorrow, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes was read and reviewed by 22 BookBrowse members for First ...
  • Book Jacket: The Judge Hunter
    The Judge Hunter
    by Christopher Buckley
    In London 1664, Balthasar de St. Michel or "Balty" has no discernable skills besides pestering his ...
  • Book Jacket: Star of the North
    Star of the North
    by D.B. John
    It's summertime. You're looking for an absorbing thriller while you flop at the beach. ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Summer Wives
    by Beatriz Williams

    An electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power and redemption set on an island off the New England coast.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Clock Dance
    by Anne Tyler

    A delightful novel of one woman's transformative journey, from the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

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.