Michael Blair

A Hard Winter Rain


The shortest day of the year was a few days away. Then Christmas. Shortly after that, his fiftieth birthday. What did he have to be depressed about?

Someone walked up to Joe “Shoe” Schumacher’s best friend, Patrick O’Neill, in a Vancouver restaurant and shot him dead. It looks like a professional hit, but who would want O’Neill dead? Was it, as the police believe, a “settling of accounts”? Was it Victoria, O’Neill’s beautiful but damaged wife? Or was it O’Neill’s boss, industrialist William Hammond, with whom O’Neill had a falling out and with whom Victoria had a short-lived affair. Former cop, chauffeur, and bodyguard Joe Shoe sets out to find Patrick’s killer, and along the way he uncovers dark secrets going back years — secrets some people will kill to keep.

I started writing A Hard Winter Rain before I sold If Looks Could Kill, so I was a bit discouraged and took a completely different direction. It began as a brooding, bleak examination of the abuse of loyalty. By the time I finished it, though, a year or so after If Looks Could Kill had been published, it had lightened up somewhat. Nevertheless, it’s a very different book, with a very different main character.

“A well-written, well-constructed story with a couple of good twists.” — Globe & Mail

“Hard-hitting and punchy.” — The Record

“An exciting and atmospheric mystery.” — Canadian Book Review

Get it in paper or electrons at Amazon, Chapters-Indigo or the Apple iBookstore.

A Hard Winter Rain
The Dundurn Group
ISBN: 1-55002-533-3
$11.99 CAN
$10.99 US

Click here to read an excerpt.