John Jantunen’s debut novel combines conventions from several genres: mystery, thriller, and literary fiction. He wrote it to both entertain and provoke, citing the Idle No More Movement, homophobia in professional sports, and PTSD in soldiers all as inspiration for
Cipher. Pulling themes and tropes together into one cohesive and blood-pumping whole, Jantunen creates a thrilling mystery set in Regina.
Who: John Jantunen lives in Guelph, Ontario with his partner, Tanja, and their two sons. John has lived in almost every region of Canada and draws his inspiration from the people he has met in his travels. One of John’s short stories was published in the Exile Editions’ anthology Fractured: Tales Of The Canadian Post Apocalypse, released in September 2014.
Why you need to read this now:
John Jantunen’s debut novel combines conventions from several genres: mystery, thriller, and literary fiction. He wrote it to both entertain and provoke, citing the Idle No More Movement, homophobia in professional sports, and PTSD in soldiers all as inspiration for Cipher. Pulling themes and tropes together into one cohesive and blood-pumping whole, Jantunen creates a thrilling mystery set in Regina.
A high school football star who chooses a tour of duty in Afghanistan over a potentially lucrative career in the pros. A woman whose career as a nine-ball champion was cut short at the Nationals. A motorcycle accident that leaves a boy in a wheelchair. A gun containing a single bullet. Fires destroying homes throughout Regina. An elusive best friend who makes an incredible and awful sacrifice.
And Ruby Yee’s spicy black bean balls.
All of these factors come together when Curtis Mays, football star and local hero, returns home unexpectedly to find his city mourning the death of a little girl — the granddaughter of Saskatchewan’s wealthiest man. As he begins to piece together what has happened, and how his actions may have helped cause it, he realizes that you can try to outrun the past, but you can never escape it.
What others are saying:
“Motorcycles, pool halls, and spicy black bean balls provide a lively, palpable backdrop for one of the most griping psychological suspense stories I’ve ever read. Each sentence pops and crackles with originality and wit. Jantunen’s dark intelligence is a welcome addition to Canadian crime fiction.” —Robin Spano, author of Death’s Last Run
“A virtuosic new writer hits the literary stage with this genre bending novel about friendship so deep it cuts to the bone. A compelling deeply moral tale that is most akin to the Scandinavian masters of crime fiction.” —Sharon Rils, author of The True Story of Ida Johnson and Midnight Twilight Tourist Zone
“John Jantunen spins a convoluted tale of violence and betrayal, driven by the kind of fears that well up in tortured souls on lonely nights. The Prairie local adds its own sense of alienation and impending doom. An impressive first novel.” —John Lawrence Reynolds, author of Beach Strip
The launch of Cipher will take place at The Book Shelf in Guelph (41 Quebec Street) on October 16, 2014 at 7:30PM.
ECW Press for sharing this title with us.
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