After a series of assassinations rocks Calgary's underworld, Detective Lane is conscripted along with his husband Arthur into working undercover to seek out links in the Mexico - Canada drug connection and stop the violence.
As tensions mount back in Canada and outright war on the streets seems imminent, the laconic detective and his allies must use some unorthodox tactics to avert disaster in the Gulf of California and dismantle the cartel.
In 2004, Garry Ryan published his first Detective Lane novel, Queen's Park. The second, The Lucky Elephant Restaurant, won a 2007 Lambda Literary Award. He has since published eight more titles in the series. In 2009, Ryan was awarded Calgary's Freedom of Expression Award. He currently lives in Calgary.
Monday, November 3
Lane looked at orange gold schooling beyond the toes of his black and red cross trainers. The kokanee rested before attempting another swim against the current and up through the culvert. The pipe was a meter in diameter and ran perpendicular to the two-lane paved road that carried Lane and Arthur here. The highway was about thirty metres above the stream it bisected. Lane watched an exhausted fish being swept back out the pipe and into the stream. The water's usual olive green was visible here and there as it flowed downstream and into Lake Koocanusa. The lake was one hundred and forty-five kilometres long and shared by BC and Montana. It ran roughly north and south along a valley in the Kootenai Rockies. Arthur had turned off the paved road on the east side of the lake along the way to a place called Jaffray.
It was a dusty ten degrees Celcius in a valley predominantly forested with evergreens. Lane looked at the wavering gold under the rippling surface. These fish don't know or care which side of the border they are on. He looked west toward the lake but all he could see was some of the creek's white water, trees and thick undergrowth.
Arthur put his hand on Lane's shoulder and said, "My dad brought us here when I was eight or nine. He said that Canadians didn't appreciate what was right under their noses. He called the spawning of the kokanee one of God's great miracles. They are born together, they die together and they give life to the next generation. " Arthur lifted his Blue Jays ball cap and wiped the shiny sweat of his scalp with the sleeve of his shirt. "I was more interested in the rocks. " He bent to pickup a grey stone shaped like a boomerang. Arthur's round Mediterranean face was lit with a smile. "See what I mean?"
Lane smiled and looked back to the gentler waters between the culvert and the rapids downstream. Thousands of kokanee waited their turn in the relatively calmer waters. I have never seen anything quite like this. What makes them gather together for generation after generation to swim upstream to spawn and die?
"You gotta watch out for the bears. " A man stepped out of the trailer parked about ten metres back from the stream. He wore a frayed once green now grey shirt, grey green work pants belted with a rope and lace free white running shoes. The man's black hair was uncombed. His face and hands told the story of twenty or thirty years of outdoor labour.
Lane smiled and pulled up the waist of his black pants. These things must be stretching. "Any around today?"
"Not so far but they will come. Always do. "