The Granby Liar & Borderline Truths by Maurice J. O. Crossfield. 

When asked to review Crossfield’s debut novel and the sequel, I was eager to discover another Canadian author.  

The stories take place in the mid-1970s. It starts out with the main character, Dave Rogers, getting his first reporting job at the Granby Leader Mail, a weekly newspaper. They must move to the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Having lived in Montreal, he and his wife are not exactly pleased with the new address but settle for what they both hope will be a temporary gig. 

Being the newest reporter on staff, Rogers gets to report on the little things, old ladies, town meetings, petty crime and small-town politics. Looking for more significant stories, Rogers soon finds himself involved with a crime boss who seems to get away with all his dirty deals, English rights vigilantes, questionable characters and the dreams of a father he barely knew. 

Crossfield delivers an entertaining story with a good pace, mysterious happenings and an intriguing plot. 

The sequel, while every bit as captivating as the previous book, has a slower pace. We meet familiar characters from the first book as well as new characters which answers some of the questions raised in the first novel. Rogers is in more trouble than he bargained for, an accessory to murder, a drinking problem, PTSD and a wife he wants to protect. The Olympics are taking place in Montreal and the authorities are cracking down on illegal border crossings. Rogers plans on exposing the men who make a living on moving contraband across country lines, and he gets much more than he bargained for. 

There is also an element of revenge by a young man who obviously feels no remorse over his deeds or what he plans for the men he opposes. The notorious Stubby Booker and Dave Rogers end up in the same mess. The two of them need to learn more about each other and find a way to save their necks. As the blurb says, 

…Stubby and Dave will have to…. settle on the borderline truths they’ll need to survive. 

Crossfield’s days as a reporter are evident in the way he portrays his main character. We get the nitty gritty of what is involved in investigative reporting, being the new guy, finding stories. All in all, both novels were an enjoyable read and there are enough hints that another sequel is in the works. 

Born and raised in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Maurice J. O. Crossfield spent nearly 15 years as a daily newspaper reporter at The Sherbrooke Record. He then struck out on his own to work as a professional writer, translator, and editor of Harrowsmith’s Almanac and Harrowsmith’s Gardening Digest. Not content with a single line of work he has also worked as an auto mechanic, handyman, forestry worker and organic gardener. He lives in the quiet hamlet of West Brome with his wife, musician Sarah Biggs, their two kids and an assortment of dogs and cats.

Growing up in South Branch, Allan Hudson was encouraged to read from an early age by his mother who was a schoolteacher. He lives in Dieppe, NB, with his wife Gloria. He has enjoyed a lifetime of adventure, and travel and uses the many experiences as ideas for his writing. He is an author of action/adventure novels, historical fiction and a short story collection. His short stories – The Ship Breakers & In the Abyss – received Honourable Mention in the New Brunswick Writer’s Federation competition. He has stories published on, The Golden Ratio and his blog - South Branch Scribbler.