Saturday, January 15, 2011
THE GUARDIANS by Andrew Pyper (2011) Doubleday Canada
The launch of a new Andrew Pyper title is cause for excitement for fans of smart literary thrillers. I've been shoving copies of Pyper's books into the hands of discerning readers for years: LOST GIRLS, THE TRADE MISSION, WILDFIRE SEASON, THE KILLING CIRCLE and now THE GUARDIANS. Each time I wonder, baited-breathedly, if the new novel will match the excitement, intelligence and sensitivity of the previous one and each time I am relieved and delighted to see that it does. And then some.
Trevor, Ben, Randy and Carl are boyhood friends and hockey teammates who grew up in a small Ontario town in the 1970s and are bound by ties that they don't yet fully understand. Now, in their early 40s, the four come together again on the sad occasion of Ben's accidental death. Trevor, recently diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's Disease, has already come face to face with the idea of his own mortality through his trembling limbs. When he reunites first with Randy, and later with Carl, the unspoken specter from their past becomes prescient in their present.
With breathtaking tension and a capacity to reveal human frailty, Pyper leads you by the hand alongside these broken men towards their path of redemption.
As someone who believes that Pyper is already writing at the top of his game, there simply aren't enough superlatives to shout from the rooftops about THE GUARDIANS. If you haven't already found your way to Andrew Pyper's books, well, isn't it just about time?