Shadow Life

By (author): Michael Decter

In one minute, delivering a not guilty verdict at the end of the trial for a disturbing murder of a child, Matthew Rice’s life begins to unravel. The very structures his life is built upon start to collapse.

Matthew retreats to Quarry Island in Georgian Bay, where he loses his wallet in a boating mishap. Among the pieces of identification he needs to replace is his birth certificate, but he’s informed it’s not on file.

His birth certificate was a forgery. Not only have the foundations of his life given way, his very identity is shattered.

Matthew learns that the woman who raised him was his father’s second wife, and that his real mother died when he was a baby. What began as a search for a replacement for his birth certificate becomes a search for a woman who was a trailblazing journalist. His search takes him on a journey to Sydney, Australia, Boston, and Dublin; it results in the possession of the journals his mother kept up to her dying days in 1952. These entries are a window into a fascinating woman and a distant time not so different from our own.

Still unsure of his place in a world that has changed in ways he has difficulty completely understanding, he returns to Quarry Island in Georgian Bay, where he stocks up on books and a case of good Scotch to sit out the end of his world as he knew it.

But fate has more in store for Matthew than he can understand.


Michael Decter

A Harvard University graduate, Michael Decter was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2017 and the Order of Canada in 2004. He has written three non-fiction books on healthcare, three on investment, a memoir, and Tales from the Back Room, a collection of political stories. Decter has also written about health and healthcare in the Literary Review of Canada, contributed op-ed pieces to the Toronto Star and The Globe & Mail, and for several years he wrote a column for Osprey Media. Born and raised in Winnipeg, MB, Decter now lives in Toronto, ON. Shadow Life is his first novel.


Shadow Life is an empowering novel in which a troubled, hopeless man decides what’s worth fighting for.”

– Eileen Gonzalez


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296 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * 0.6875in


October 01, 2022

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Cormorant Books



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FICTION / Literary

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