If Looks Could Kill

If Looks Could Kill

By Margaret Goldik

A review of If Looks Could Kill by Michael Blair

Published on October 1, 2001

If Looks Could Kill
Michael Blair

McClelland & Stewart
$32.99
cloth
277pp
0-7710-1127-X

Photographer Thomas McCall is at the airport in Vancouver, picking up his hearing-impaired preteen daughter and her ferret, when he catches sight of old love Carla. Carla walks back into his life, asking for a place to hide. Carla disappears. Carla’s new hoodlum boyfriend, Vince, is looking for her. So is a mysterious two-fingered man. Soon, despite his misgivings, is McCall. In the meantime his houseboat is sinking, his current girlfriend dumps him, and there are odd goings-on in his photography business.

This thriller is the debut from Montreal writer Michael Blair, who’s at his best with snappy plot-propelling dialogue. Despite all the twists and turns the story is easily followed, and the finale is quite Canadian – nicely understated and with most of the ends tied up. It feels as though Blair had fun writing If Looks Could Kill, and the fun is passed on to the reader. mRb

Margaret Goldik is a former editor of the Montreal Review of Books.

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