About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Crisis Point by Dwayne Clayden

Crisis Point by Dwayne Clayden - In the spring of 1976 Brad Coulter is a somewhat maverick Calgary police officer. After working in a training exercise he is on a regular shift with Curtis Young who is about to leave regular duty to become a Canine officer.

(Kevin) Giles is an active member of the Canadian Airborne. Torres and Nadeau are former members of the same unit. They had all served together. With the aid of a guard at Brinks they plan a robbery at a bank branch in a mall. They will strike  just before midnight when the Brinks guards enter the bank with their money cart. It is a good plan but the second Brinks guard starts shooting. Giles wounds him and they escape with $80,000.

As they try to leave Calgary Coulter and Young intercept them. A shootout leaves Young dead.

After the funeral Coulter is offered Young’s dog, Lobo. He accepts.

After a short leave Coulter returns to active duty where he encounters a pretty young paramedic, Maggie Gray. She is spirited and quick witted. They are soon a couple.

One of the consequences of the shootout is the establishment of a SWAT unit in Calgary based on the Los Angeles model of SWAT teams. To distinguish them from American teams they are called the Tactical Support Unit (TSU).

Coulter continues to have physical confrontations at work. While his returns to duty are quick they are not the impossibly swift recoveries of Hollywood heroes.

The robberies by the ex-soldiers continue with few clues for the police.

Coulter is chosen for the first group of TSU officers. The description of the demanding training was interesting. They are extremely fit.

I was disappointed by Coulter secretly taking evidence from a crime scene. His actions interfered with the investigation and were a surprise from an author who has worked as a police officer.

The TSU is not embraced by regular police officers who cannot see the need or purpose to a special unit.

The book complains about the criminal justice system being weighted in favour of accused. I am old enough to have been a defence lawyer in 1976. I would disagree with Clayden’s characterization of the criminal justice system.

While there is more action than I need I appreciated the development of a credible relationship between Coulter and Gray. As well, Coulter’s partner, Briscoe, is married and has a family. I do wish the good guys were not perfect. None of us are.

The bad guys have some character though, as usual, no families.

The dialogue flows nicely. The banter between officers felt realistic. There is genuine wit.

It is a good thriller.


  1. The second of the Brad Coulter books, "Outlaw MC," was released this evening in Calgary. I haven't read it yet so am not sure if it too has good guys who are a bit too 'good'.

    Here's a video trailer if anyone's interested.


    1. Jayne: Thanks for the comment. I looked at the video trailer. It is certainly dramatic.

  2. I know what you mean about the good guys being too 'good,' Bill. I like it better when the characters in a novel are more real-life. And that means not perfect. It sounds as though there is solid 'thriller-esque' pacing and timing here, and I'm glad you found a lot to enjoy.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. It helps me to enjoy a book where the characters have virtues and flaws. It is "solid 'thrilleresque' ".

  3. This one sounds interesting - I like the idea of the dog team, and a thriller with some humour and nice characters is always appealing.

  4. Moira: Thanks for the comment. It is interesting. I wish the dog had stayed more involved.

  5. I quite like the sound of this one, Bill. Off to look it up, thanks.

    1. Col: Thanks for the comment. I think this book is exactly the kind of book you like to read.

  6. Another Canadian author for me to try. Thanks, Bill.

    1. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I am on a streak of Canadian authors that will extend to over 20 books.