Fall From Grace

Fall From Grace

Book - 2011
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Leo Desroches goes straight--off the streets, into the newsroom, and up to his neck in murder

Marking the debut of Leo Desroches, one of the most unusual amateur detectives ever to appear in Canada or points south, this fast-paced, enthralling mystery is the story of a man who had everything, lost it all, and is trying to get it back. Leo Desroches doesn't look like a native, but his mother was Cree, and he understands the problems of indigenous Canadians of the First Nations. Which is probably why the Edmonton newspaper he writes for decides he should be their Aboriginal Issues reporter.

He has his own issues to deal with: his compulsive gambling that he couldn't stop even after it cost him his wife and children; his alcoholism; the risk-taking that threatens to derail him every time he starts to get his life back together.

When he's assigned to cover the murder of a young native prostitute, it's just one more story...until the cop in charge lets him view the corpse, something the Edmonton police never do. When Leo writes his article, it starts a chain of events that leads him to discover a much, much bigger story, one that could bring down the entire police department...if it doesn't get him killed.

Publisher: New York :, Forge,, 2011.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780765324177
Branch Call Number: M ARTH
Characteristics: 316 pages ; 22 cm


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Jul 12, 2019

Book 1 of the Leo Desroches series.

Jul 24, 2017

Another book read for the summer reading challenge. Needed a book set in Alberta.

I really enjoyed this one though. On the surface, it's a murder mystery where the detective is actually a journalist and he suspects that the recently murdered girl may actually be indicative of a serial killer. In addition to the mystery, though, the book delves into the journalist's rather messed up life and tackles a variety of issues including bias and corruption.

And I must say that it was a nice change to read a book with a single narrator that told the story in chronological order.

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: " The main character Leo Desroches is Cree and French-Canadian and he had had it all;he was a journalist, married with 2 kids but his bad habit of gambling made him lose everything. This is a story of second chances, a murder investigation,A news article which embroils Leo into an even bigger story.This murder mystery is unique in that it is set in Edmonton so readers will be very familiar with the streets and landmarks. A clever story."

May 27, 2012

A great read! Loved the Edmonton setting!

Cdnbookworm Jan 18, 2012

This is a mystery novel set in Edmonton with a very different main character. Leo Desroches is a journalist working for an Edmonton newspaper. He was hired during a newspaper strike. Leo has a gambling problem, one that cost him his wife and kids, and a lot more. At one time he was living on the streets of Edmonton. This is his second chance.
When he gets offered the opportunity to see the body when covering a story on the murder of a young native prostitute, he includes the information gained in his story. That leads to a much bigger story, one that involves the police and stretches years into the past. Leo hangs on despite real danger, and finds a way to the truth.
Leo is an interesting character, growing up on military bases with a French-Canadian and a Cree mother and no knowledge of French or Cree. His father was a distant present and he doesn't have fond recollections of his childhood. Leo still struggles with the urge to take risks that led him to gamble, and not always successfully. Leo is also assigned to be the paper's native issues reporter going forward and he's a bit ambivalent about this role, as he hasn't really had any contact with the native side of his family. He is a very complex character, struggling with life, and trying to do better.
The story around the murdered native prostitute and the lack of action by police is one common in Canada until recently. This apathy around disappearing native women is a story that will only be getting bigger in the next few years as police across the country face up to the change they need to make to their culture to serve their community better than they have in this area.
With both these issues present in the book, this is a strong new presence in mystery books.

Nov 01, 2011

This was a super read and so much fun to have it locally set. Hope he writes some more things soon.

Sep 27, 2011

Tangibly Edmontonian, and so very much grounded in fact that the fiction could have happened this way.

Jul 04, 2011

This story did not meet my expectations. Often I had difficulty believing/accepting what was going on.

debwalker May 19, 2011

"This clever debut by freelance journalist Arthurson is set in Edmonton and introduces Leo Desroches, also a journalist. Leo is a native Canadian and a crime-beat reporter. But Leo is also a seriously addicted gambler who’s lost his home, his family and his credentials. Now, chasing stories for Edmonton’s biggest daily, he has a chance to recoup his personal losses, if not his financial ones. When he comes across the case of a murdered native woman, a prostitute, he starts to investigate. Just what brought her to this terrible end? But Leo’s search takes him into dangerous places, including the police force in charge of the case. Fall From Grace is a good story with an engaging central character, and it appears to be the beginning of a promising series."
Margaret Cannon
Globe & Mail May 16 2011

Pippi_L May 15, 2011

An excellent mystery, from a relatively new writer in the genre, and set in Edmonton.


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