Book Reviews

Book Review: What Kills Good Men


The author is a Haligonian and lived in the city for many years. He knows the city well, especially the downtown core, and ably describes the area in detail where the novel is set.

Yet for readers living outside of Halifax, a sketch of downtown would have been helpful to understand events described much better.

One October night in 1899, the body of a well-regarded city councillor is found floating under a city wharf.

Chief inspector Culligan Baxter and his team starts investigating first the waterfront, then downtown streets, and later, surrounding countryside.

Investigators and interview several bartenders, petty thieves, and prostitutes, but ultimately discover in police archives documents linking prominent businessmen to corrupt officials.

This highly interesting novel describes historic downtown Halifax vividly and provides memorable portraits of colourful characters that frequent bars, restaurants, and barber shops.

Some chapters are too long, but the tedious work, given the time frame is revealing for modern readers

This murder mystery is rich in history, and shows how power corrupts, and that nothing is black and white.

Interesting, revealing, and recommended.

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