Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Let It Ride

John McFetridge

As my friend Declan Burke says, "All three regular readers," of the blog will know, today marks the publication of Let It Ride in the USA and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone.

When my first novel was coming out the publisher asked me if I wanted to put in some acknowledgements and I said, of course, and started to make a list. Very quickly I realized the list was going o be as long as the book. We all know it takes a lot of people to make a movie or a TV show, we see all the names in the credits and now I realize that for me it takes justas mny to write a book.

My family, my friends, co-workers, friends I've made online but never met in person -- I've been helped by so many people, given support in so many different ways by so many people.

So to everyone, I say thank you.

And we'd like to give away a copy here at Do Some Damage. So, if you leave a comment we'll put all the names in a hat and pick one out.

And if you're curious about the book, here's a little something from Chapter One:

The on-ramp to the Gardiner Expressway was closed; a fire truck, an ambulance, and a cop car blocking the way, and uniformed men and women from all of them standing around smoking.

McKeon popped the siren a couple times and flashed the headlights to clear a path in the traffic and pulled right up to the ramp on Lake Shore, under the expressway.

One of the uniformed cops, a guy in his fifties, said, “McKeon, you’re going to love this.”

She was already out of the car walking towards the scene saying, “I am?”

The uniform, Dixon, said oh yeah, this is a good one.

“Guy was driving up the ramp, see?” The car, a brand- new Dodge 300 with the big front grille and the little windows making it look like a thirties gangster car, had gotten halfway up the ramp, stopped, and rolled back, turning sharply so its back end was against the left side and its front end against the right, blocking the road.

Dixon said, “And pow, somebody shoots him in the head.”

Closer now, McKeon and Price could see the passenger window covered in blood splatter and the driver’s head flopped onto the steering wheel.

McKeon saw the woman’s body, waist up on the passenger seat, the rest of her on the floor, like she was kneeling and slid off, as Dixon was saying, “Then they popped the chick.”

Price said, “Holy shit.”

Dixon was laughing. “You know it, detective.”

McKeon walked around to where the driver’s side door was open and said, “His pants are down.”

“And,” Dixon said, “get a load of her outfit, love the fishnets. Getting a little road head, eh, couldn’t wait to get to the room.”

Another uniform cop standing beside the car, younger than Dixon but otherwise looked just the same, said, “Or getting his money’s worth on the way.”

McKeon said to Price, “Great.” She looked at the uniforms. “What’s the id say?”

“No idea.”

“You sure they’re dead?”

“VSA, detective, that’s what the pros tell us.” He pointed to the firemen and ambulance guys leaning against their rigs drinking coffee. Vital Signs Absent.

McKeon said, You’re really working hard tonight, and the younger uniform said, Hey, it’s a crime scene, detective.

“Once they said they were dead we didn’t want to disturb anything.”

McKeon said, “Right,” and leaned into the car. She didn’t see a gun anywhere, but thought, you never know.

She picked up the woman’s white leather purse from the floor of the car, had to pull it out from under the woman’s butt, miniskirt slid up, nothing on underneath but a garter belt. Close up like this McKeon saw the woman was older than she thought, had to be mid to late forties, in good shape, showing off a very nice body in her miniskirt and expensive silk top, push-up bra, little leather boots, at least five-inch spike heels.

McKeon stood up, opened the purse, and said, “Jesus Christ.”

Price, walking back from checking the computer in the unmarked, looked over her shoulder and said, “Yeah, that’s it, registered to a Michael Lowrie, Mississauga.”

McKeon, looking at the driver’s licence from the purse, said, “Sandra Lowrie. Wife?”

“Looks like it. Guy’s got no record, nothing outstanding, not even a parking ticket.”


The tech guys arrived and went right to work. McKeon — it was her turn, she was the lead, what they called the major case manager, trying to make it sound like a normal day at the office—watched them get started. She said, Hey, to Cruickshank, the senior guy, and let him do his job.

Then she flipped through the wallet. Credit cards, video store card, library card, pictures of the kids.

McKeon said, “Oh shit.” Two kids, teenagers, a boy and a girl, and another girl, maybe six. Pictures taken on a beach somewhere, the five of them. Then a couple more pictures on a ski hill.

McKeon said, “Domestic? Murder-suicide? Kills her, then himself?”

Price said, “No man would kill his wife while she’s doing that.”

“Yeah.” McKeon looked around at the line of cars inching along Lake Shore, looking for the next on-ramp, all the people straining to see the crime scene. “And I don’t see a gun.”

Cruickshank, the tech guy, said, “Sorry to disappoint, detectives, but the shots were fired from outside the car.”

Price said, Come on now, Shanks, “You know we can make the evidence say anything we want.”

Cruickshank kept taking pictures, walking around the car, saying, “Right, forgot about that, detective.”

Price walked up and down the ramp, the few feet from the car with the victims in it to the police car. He stopped and said, “So they come up the ramp here, heading out for the suburbs, someone comes alongside and pops them. Why?”

McKeon asked Dixon and the other uniform about witnesses, and they both shrugged.

Dixon said, “Kids called it in,” pointing to an SUV at the bottom of the ramp. “Said it was like this when they got here.”

Price said, “This is one of the busiest streets in the city, ramp to one of the busiest expressways. No one saw it happen?”

“No one who stuck around. We got here like a minute after they called it in.”
“You were so close? I don’t see a Tim Hortons around here.”

“What can I say, we’re good.”

McKeon said, “Look, people live under this express-way, someone must have seen something.”

Dixon said, “Nada, detective.”

McKeon said, “Ask again.”

When he was gone McKeon said, “Road rage?”

“There’s some traffic cameras around here, we’ll see what we can find.” Price shook his head. “But it doesn’t look like there’s any damage other than hitting the wall
after the shooting.”

“So,” McKeon said, “guy’s driving home, the wife’s going down on him, and somebody kills them?”

“Maybe it’s personal, affair or something.”

“Happened pretty fast, guy knew what he was doing. Doesn’t look like he wasted any shots.”

“How do we know it’s a guy?”

McKeon said, “Shit, the kids. I’d like to keep the details out of it.”

Price said, Yeah? “What are the chances?” He motioned to where Dixon was standing beside a van with a tv station logo all over it, some kind of Action News.


Price said, okay, first thing, get the scene cleared up.

“And we better go see the kids.”

McKeon said yeah. Then she said, “What about Anjilvel’s thing?”

“What about it?”

“You want to do anything about it?”

Price had the passenger door to their car open and he said, Slow down. “Let’s just have one big giant crappy thing on our plates at a time.”

McKeon said, “Okay, sure. If that’s all you want.”

• • •

So, thanks again everybody, I really appreciate the support.

And here's a trailer for the book. This is the Ambassador Bridge to Canada:


pattinase (abbott) said...

The best of luck to you, John. You are a master at ambiance as well as character and plot. I can't wait to see it ride.

John McFetridge said...

Thanks Patti.

One of the characters in the book is from Detroit and Patti read the manuscript and offered expert advice on that city (and the line about the big house having a "library and a Sub Zero on the patio"), but as always, any errors are mine.

Joelle Charbonneau said...

Hey John! Congrats on today's release of Let It Ride. The excerpt was awesome. I can't wait to read the whole book! My copy should be waiting in the bookstore for me to pick up tomorrow - it's actually there today, but I have learned from experience that taking my toddler into a book store can be harrowing...he LOVES books.

Alan Griffiths said...

Many congrats to you John.

I loved the excerpt from chapter one and I look forward to reading the rest just as soon as I can - top writing.

Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Great excerpt! Congrats on you US release!

Deb G.

(if I am the lucky winner of the book, Joelle knows how to find me).

Cavalieresq said...

I read this a few months ago as Swap - I ordered the ECW press version from Amazon Canada.

Do your self a favor and read this book. It's excellent - the best of three strong novels from McFetridge thus far.

Unknown said...

Great excerpt! I look forward to reading it! I'd go out and and buy it today but New Orleans is shut down due to Mardi Gras... maybe tomorrow.

Unknown said...

Holly hell, John, do you ever make a misstep? I can't wait to read the whole book! Congrats!

PokerBen said...

The book sounds great.

Hilary Davidson said...

Congrats, John! I love what I've read of your work and can't wait to read LET IT RIDE. Also, I'm glad you're writing about my hometown the way it should be done. That old "Toronto is New York run by the Swiss" line never was true, but becomes less relevant every year.

Eric Beetner said...

Nice little tease and some killer blurbs you got there. Sounds like a must-read. Congratulations.

Chris said...

Congrats, John! I'm looking forward to reading it.

Unknown said...

Congratulations! on the release of your latest book. I just read the excerpt for Let it Ride. I'm dying to find out what happened. You really got my attention and can't wait to read the book. I'll just have to be on pins and needles until I read the book. Going to the store tonight to pick it up.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Congratulations on the U.S. release of LET IT RIDE. Your excerpt sounds intriguing, and I'd love to read more.
How exciting! Best wishes.

John McFetridge said...

Thanks so much everyone, I really appeciate the kind words.

I'm kind of overwhelmed at the moment, frankly.