NATIONAL POST: 2023’s Best Canadian Crime Fiction

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Sharp-eyed readers of Scott Thornley’s latest roller-coaster thriller, Middlemen, will suspect it’s happening in the Ontario city of Hamilton. But as always with his books, Thornley gives the place a fictional name and scrambles the geography a bit. When it comes to crime fiction, he’s a late-flowering success story — first trying his hand at the genre in his late 60s following a decades-long career in graphic design. Middlemen again reminds us that this is an author with a penchant for twisty plots and a readiness to place violence centre stage when required. He also creates original villains, as well as a convincing series police officer, MacNeice by name, who in this book, faces a challenge: he has evidence of two murders — but there are no bodies.