Open Season

Peter Kirby

September 2015

A Guatemalan journalist is kidnapped, and the only message from her kidnappers is the murder of her lawyer. In a race against time, Luc Vanier sets about reconstructing her life, through the sordid world of human trafficking, the secretive underbelly of a multinational mining corporation, and the hiding places of desperate refugees. When Vanier is brutally warned off the investigation, he throws away the rule book and goes after the villains with a vengeance.

WINNER of the 2016 Arthur Ellis Award for Excellence in Crime Writing 

Peter Kirby was born in Ireland and grew up in the hardscrabble neighbourhood of Brixton in South London. He came to Canada as a cook, went to university at night, and eventually became a lawyer. He now practises international law in one of Canada’s largest law firms and has been recognized by The American Lawyer as one of Canada’s leading 500 lawyers. 

Kirby's three Luc Vanier novels to date are The Dead of Winter, shortlisted for the Crime Writers of Canada's 2013 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Book, Vigilante Season, and Open Season, winner of the 2016 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel; all are published by LLP. 

All three titles have been translated into French by Rachel Martinez: La terre promise (Open Season),  Les justiciers d'Hochelaga (Vigilante Season), and Vague d'effroi (The Dead of Winter).

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What they say
Kirby's "breakout novel"
Jim Napier, Montreal Review of Books

In the brief space of three years Montreal lawyer Peter Kirby has found time to turn out yet another in his fine series of novels featuring Montreal Detective Inspector Luc Vanier, and each new addition is more assured, and more compelling, than the last.

What sets Kirby’s work apart from many other crime novels is that mere plot is never enough; character is key. This allows the author to explore troubling social themes such as the treatment of the homeless, the clash of cultures in Montreal’s diverse communities, international human trafficking, and of course the inevitable conflicts that occur within policing circles when agencies compete for jurisdiction on a case, or worse, want to sweep it under the table. In Open Season, Kirby draws on current events to reveal a great deal about contemporary Canadian life, and as we have come to expect, his graphic account pulls no punches.
Summer 2015, Montreal Review of Books

First prize!

Peter Kirby's Open Season is declared the WINNER of the 2016 Arthur Ellis Prize for Best Crime Novel. Here's what the Jury had to say about Open Season:

"Of the 82 novels we read for the Best Crime Novel category, many met our criteria for excellence, fulfilling their promise with interesting puzzles, believable stories and memorable characters. All five of our short-listed titles were outstanding, each in their own way, but Open Season, by Peter Kirby, stood out as especially strong. Open Season is a smart page-turner with a complex, skilfully drawn plot and an engaging puzzle. Inspector Luc Vanier must untangle the tentacles of human trafficking, government and corporate corruption, from the highest halls to the underpasses of Montreal, to the mining villages of Guatemala. The story features vivid, suspenseful action scenes – for example, the moments when a desperate young prostitute is being hunted down by the Russian mob are almost unbearable. This is a police procedural, gritty and noirish, with an extra spark that compelled each of us to read it almost all in one go, from the stunning opening scenes to a thrilling and satisfying conclusion. Vanier himself has great depth – he is sharp, believable and human, with a willingness to bend the law to exact vengeance, but he remains a moral centre in a troubled world. Open Season is the third of Peter Kirby’s Luc Vanier novels. You don’t need to read the previous books to enjoy this one – but you will want to."

High praise

September 6, 2015: Open Season author Peter Kirby is interviewed by CBC Radio host Sonali Karnick on All in a Weekend. Here's a teaser from the CBC website: 
"Human trafficking and refugee claims are just two of the issues that author Peter Kirby tackles in his latest crime novel. He didn't have to look far for inspiration. Kirby talks about basing his fiction in reality."

August 26, 2015: Richard King reviews Open Season, the new Luc Vanier novel by Peter Kirby, on Home Run. "Open Season by Peter Kirby is a well-plotted can't-put-down mystery with terrific characters" 

July 3, 2015: The first review of Peter Kirby's much-anticipated new Luc Vanier novel, Open Season, is out—and it's excellent. 

Reviewer Jim Napier writes: "Is it too early in the series to call Open Season a breakout novel? Kirby’s two previous Vanier stories were also deftly crafted, well-told tales, but his latest work steps up the intrigue several notches, resulting in a perfectly plotted, nicely paced, edge-of-your seat thriller that also has gravitas; and it has all the earmarks of a winner. Open Season may quite possibly be one of the best Canadian crime novels of 2015." Montreal Review of Books, Summer 2015.


The Dead Of Winter, shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Book:

·      “Taut. Claustrophobic. Compelling.” – Will Ferguson

·      “Powerful. Dark. Raw.” – Kathy Reichs

·      “Riveting.” – John Farrow

·      “Gripping. Compelling.” – Montreal Gazette

·      “Vanier reveals himself as a worthy series detective.” Sarah Wineman, National Post.

Vigilante Season, named by Quill & Quire as one of the year’s 5 best crime books

·      “Vigilante Season is a fine tale that can hold its own with the best of what’s out there.” – Jim Napier, Montreal Review of Books.

·      “The novel offers more than a simple tale of the worthy few against the corrupt many…[it] delivers more nuance than is typical for its genre, a promising follow-up to 2012′s lauded The Dead of Winter.” – Publishers Weekly.

·      “This novel is one for our times. I suggest you pour a glass of Jameson, and sit down and enjoy a good read.” Ann Forrest, Nuacht.


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