Summer Reading: Mystery

Overexposed

A review of Overexposed by Michael Blair

Published on July 1, 2006

Overexposed
Michael Blair

The Dundurn Group
$11.99
paper
308pp
1-55002-582-1

Overexposed is a sequel to If Looks Could Kill, which was a finalist for the 1999 Chapters/Robertson Davies Prize and was shortlisted for the 2001 Quebec Writers’ Federation McAuslan First Book Prize

The first sentences set the tone:

I found the dead man on a bright Sunday morning in September, a week after Labour Day. He was slumped in a plastic lawn chair on the roof deck of my house, chin on his chest, fingers linked in his lap, ankles comfortably crossed, looking for all the world as though he had just dozed off.

Tom McCall, the protagonist of this sophisticated, fast-moving novel, thinks his life is back on track. His photography business is finally going somewhere, and his floating home is still afloat. But his 40th birthday party coincides with the discovery of the corpse on his roof, and the re-emergence into his life of a gorgeous actress whom he had rescued in If Looks Could Kill. Also entering his life is Tom’s daughter and ex-wife, a PR man with one too many Botox injections, and a host of others.

Blair keeps all the threads neatly untangled until the dénouement, which is satisfying – and very Canadian. His workmanlike prose never gets in the way of the story, and he has a deft way with dialogue. One can only hope that there are more Tom McCall stories in the works. mRb

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

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