John Moss is the author of two dozen books, including Invisible Among the Ruins and Being Fiction, a collection short stories. His Quin and Morgan mysteries explore the breadth of a full life and its inevitably awkward end. Moss is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He lives in Peterborough, Ontario.
The discovery of two headless corpses dressed in colonial clothing and locked in a grisly embrace draws Detectives Miranda Quin and David Morgan of the Toronto Police Service into a Gothic mixture of sex and death that ultimately threatens their survival.
What if the difference between good and evil is only perception?
Beginning with morbid curiosity, Miranda and Morgan get caught up in a story of inspired depravity. Through revelations in such diverse locations as a Toronto demolition site, a lonely farmhouse on Georgian Bay, the crypt of a derelict church, and inside the murky depths of a shipwreck, this perverse account of love, lust, and murder builds to a horrific crescendo. Seduced by their own personal demons, Quin and Morgan might not find their considerable skills and strong bonds enough this time to help them overcome the terrors that await.
Summertime demands a really good, grisly mystery, and John Moss, in his [second] novel featuring Toronto detectives Miranda Quin and David Morgan, delivers the goods ... The plot is really solid here, but it's also fun to follow the cops along the byways of Toronto and then up to Georgian Bay. Grave Doubts is a great weekend-at-the-cottage novel.
... John Moss has produced an elliptical dance of words ... a couple of hundred pages of puzzlement, suspicion, illumination and confusion that take Quin and Morgan all over the Southern map ... For those willing to suspend their disbelief from very high rafters, however, and who are intrigued by slippery depictions of shifting relationships, radical demonstrations of loyalties and disloyalties, and lots of interesting allusions and bits of ancillary information, it has a kind of hypnotic delight.
Quin and Morgan are as quirky and dynamic duo as there is out there fighting crime, exploring life and spinning solutions to life's mysteries ... Grave Doubts. is writing that moves the mystery novel beyond the often trite label of genre fiction into crafted storytelling that delves into the energy and desperation behind actions that can both define and destroy lives.
Toronto detectives Miranda Quin and David Morgan sort out a tale of lust and creepy old places as they investigate two headless corpses dressed in colonial clothing.
The story, enhanced by clever dialogue and rich prose, climaxes in a dramatic underwater rescue worthy of any thriller.
Snappy dialogue, engaging characters, and a layered plot with a riveting climax combine to make this well-crafted tale a compelling read.
I must admit to a new favourite, though. How lucky we are that John Moss has turned his brilliant academic mind to writing mysteries. His Miranda Quin and David Morgan of the Toronto Police service are a different breed of detectives. Intellectual and culturally sophisticated, they wrestle with both existential problems and their feelings for each other.