The Devil's Dust

The Devil's Dust

A Charlie McKelvey Mystery

Book - 2012
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Charlie McKelvey goes to his northern hometown to find that the big city isn't the only place with big problems.

Retired Toronto detective Charlie McKelvey runs from a cancer diagnosis and the violent memories of the big city and retreats to his hometown. A small declining mining centre, Ste. Bernadette offers McKelvey a chance to resolve old family issues, including his father's involvement in a deadly wildcat strike in the late 1950s.

When the local police force enlists his help in tracing an upswing in youth violence and vandalism, McKelvey stumbles into the hornets' nest of a crystal-meth industry. The timing couldn't be worse for the town to expose its drug problem to the world: the mayor is hoping a new transmission line will be built through the town, bringing power-line jobs and construction dollars; the police chief is trying to close a deal to truck Detroit's garbage to a local site as well as vie for the mayor's job; and a sleazy businessman is attempting to buy up the town's land to open a casino and resort.

Despite searches and seizures, the flow of drugs continues, leading McKelvey to suspect a local is manufacturing the drug. The Devil's Dust holds a magnifying glass to the current decline of rural life, the scourge of meth, and what happens when an entire town loses faith.
Publisher: Toronto : Dundurn Press, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9781459701922
Branch Call Number: FOR
Characteristics: 284 pages ; 21 cm.


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Mar 03, 2014

This is part three of a crime thriller trilogy, featuring Detective Charlie McKelvey. He's left the stress of Toronto after a take down gone bad, with a kidnapping, the death of his son, and the end of his marriage. He's returned to his childhood home, a small and fading Northern mining town. Home has changed, with the mine shut down, many businesses boarded up, a drug problem and several shady plans to rejuvenate the area. Against his better judgement he finds himself helping the local police get back control of their town, while he digs into his father's involvement, years ago, in a murder. The plot builds well, dropping a few hints and taking a few unexpected turns before revealing the real criminals in town. The author blends together realistic dialogue, police procedures, and a rich description of life in a small town. I admit to being biased toward this book, as the topic is similar to my own novel, and I did grow up in a small and fading Northern mining town, but I still give this a 4/5 rating. I'm looking forward to reading others in the series.

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