Death of A Lesser Man

Paperback | May 18, 2011

byThomas Rendell Curran

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Gunshots shatter the stillness of a rainy night in an upscale neighbourhood in St. John's, Newfoundland. Harrison Rose, a businessman and war veteran, lies dead. To find the killer, Inspector Eric Stride confronts the darker side of post-World War II St. John's: a lady of the evening who appears on his doorstep, a hard-scrabble labourer who shovels coal for a living, a prosperous businessman with a secret. Along the way, Stride confronts treachery and betrayal. He also encounters opposition from inside government, when officials attempt to stymie his investigation. As Stride unravels the mystery, he also confronts his own sense of justice in a world where violence has become a way of life.

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From the Publisher

Gunshots shatter the stillness of a rainy night in an upscale neighbourhood in St. John's, Newfoundland. Harrison Rose, a businessman and war veteran, lies dead. To find the killer, Inspector Eric Stride confronts the darker side of post-World War II St. John's: a lady of the evening who appears on his doorstep, a hard-scrabble laboure...

Thomas Rendell Curran is an acclaimed Newfoundland-born writer who lives in Ottawa, Ontario. Previous books in his Inspector Stride series received critical praise, including Undertow and The Rossiter File.

other books by Thomas Rendell Curran

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The Rossiter File
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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.75 inPublished:May 18, 2011Publisher:Boulder PublicationsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0986537624

ISBN - 13:9780986537622


Rated 4 out of 5 by from A thoroughly great read. Didn't want to put it down. Curran tells a story in a straight forward way with tidbits of humour. Perhaps the ample references to St. John's landmarks obviate the need for a great deal of location development. The personal life affairs with female characters added depth to the character. I enjoyed the numerous historic elements.
Date published: 2014-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enigma on the Rock Death of a Lesser Man Following the success of his first two novels set in St. John’s, Newfoundland, known in Canada as The Rock, Thomas Rendell Curran’s Death of a Lesser Man maintains the same high standards. Inspector Eric Stride, working for the Newfoundland Constabulary in the years following the Second World War, is alarmed by gunshots which echo down the street of his sedate neighbourhood. One shot, then another. He rushes out, only to find his respectable neighbour dead with no witnesses. His well-appointed house shows no sign of malicious entry. Harrison Rose was an honoured veteran of the Great War, one of many who returned to prosper in business. If he succeeded a bit more than he should have in the years after prohibition in this port of trade, there could be many reasons why, most legitimate. The forensics are problematical. Rose seems to have been shot not twice in the chest, but a third and very fatal time in the head. Ballistics were less sophisticated in 1947, but any amateur could tell that two guns were used, one for the chest shots, another for the coup de grace. Himself a man with a questionable background, including suspicious rum-running activity before he joined the force, Stride takes on the highly sensitive job of tracking a killer. Time and time again he is led to believe that Rose’s past must be involved. Though one more war has intervened, men of Rose’s age gained their military experience through the brutal trench slaughters of the Great War. Many soldiers carried revenge for their comrades’ misdeeds in their hearts for the rest of their lives. Memories and flashbacks of gruesome scenes best forgotten shift the focus between past and present. Everyone remembers the key battles that led to record numbers of Canadian deaths, as Stride’s coworker Phelan demonstrates: Bloody awful show, Gallipoli….The Newfoundland Regiment arrived there in September of 1915. God’s arsehole, Kit’s uncle called it. Awful heat when they arrived, almost no fresh water, swarms of flies, never mind the Turkish artillery and snipers. And then in November the weather turned freezing cold, and there were terrible rainstorms, even floods. Some of the British troops actually drowned in their trenches, and others froze to death on the firing steps. Though his heroism in the Great War seems undisputed, what about the time Rose spent in Ireland, where many were fervent enemies of Great Britain and resented the occupation? Rose turns out to have been a man with many more secrets involving more than one woman. And his grown daughter is arriving from abroad just in time to make preparations for a funeral. How should Stride handle that problem, especially if she has information he needs to solve the case? Curran captures the fabric of his native Newfoundland, a place where the inhabitants must work hard to earn a living not much different from a hundred years ago in this fishing community with history on every corner. The rain and drizzle on “The Rock” along with the hardscrabble farming challenge even the strongest constitution. Yet no true son or daughter would have it otherwise. The redoubtable Stride wipes his shoes while in the sacred halls of the upper classes, but also walks through the shadowed alleys and shabby rooming houses that make up the dark underbelly of the city. More than one person may have a secret that calls for a killing to defend. Curran also shines through his thorough knowledge of military history and the social climate during, between, and after the wars. Newfoundland shed a disproportionate amount of its lifeblood on the battlefield. Over all hovers a strict code of behaviour for the officers and men who marched off to war. His details are authentic and he never fails to create the right atmosphere for this dark and moody historical.
Date published: 2011-05-03

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Editorial Reviews

In Death of a Lesser Man, Curran has assembled most of the key ingredients of an excellent mystery. The setting is unique, the main character is interesting, the secondary characters are well drawn and the whodunit aspects are well-handled. The historical detail is abundant, especially in regard to Newfoundlanders' role in the First World War. --Ottawa Citizen