Wayne Arthurson: Blood Red Summer

In book three of Wayne Arthurson's prize-winning Leo Desroches series, it's summer in Edmonton and not only is the city infested with mosquitoes, it's on track for a record number of homicides. Leo has been in jail awaiting trial for the death of retired detective Mike Gardiner, but fortunately for him, the charges are dropped. Because of his notoriety, he's hired back at the paper to write a popular column about crime. With cuts in staffing at the paper, he's also still on the regular crime beat, trying to keep up with all the murders in the city. However, he needs to watch out for his own propensity to gambling and other risky behaviors.

This mystery opens with what seems to be a typical overdose of a young Native male in the inner city. Some white rocks spill out of the body bag; Leo first thinks they're crack cocaine, but he discovers they're really rough diamonds. The victime was not a drug user, but a worker at one of the new diamond mines above the Arctic Circle. Leo is led to investigate a smuggling ring and a deadly, billion dollar conflict between Native groups, rival gangs, and international mining conglomerates.

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