Erasing Memory

Paperback | July 5, 2011

byScott Thornley

not yet rated|write a review
A remarkable Canadian crime debut praised as “a page-turner with a Sherlockian twist.”

MacNeice, a senior police detective in the southern Ontario industrial city of Dundurn, is returning from a pilgrimage to his wife's grave when he's called to a crime scene of singular and disturbing beauty. A young woman in evening dress lies gracefully posed on the floor of a pristine summer cottage so that the finger of one hand regularly interrupts the needle arm of a phonograph playing the Schubert Piano Trio. The only visible mark on her is the bruise under her chin, which MacNeice recognizes: it is the mark that distinguishes dedicated violinists, the same mark that once graced his wife. The murder is both ingenious and horrific, and soon entangles MacNeice and his team in Eastern Europe's ancient grievances, which reach out to breach all the walls that have been thrown up to keep the past at bay.

MacNeice must use his splendid but unorthodox powers of observation to stem the tide of events threatening to erase any trace of memory or history, leaving the target of the crime naked in the face of loss.

From the Hardcover edition.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$17.81 online
$19.95 list price (save 10%)
In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

A remarkable Canadian crime debut praised as “a page-turner with a Sherlockian twist.” MacNeice, a senior police detective in the southern Ontario industrial city of Dundurn, is returning from a pilgrimage to his wife's grave when he's called to a crime scene of singular and disturbing beauty. A young woman in evening dress lies gracef...

SCOTT THORNLEY has had a diverse career, from designing the Gemini Award for the Academy of Canadian Television to the logos for Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid. As president and creative director of Scott Thornley + Company (a strategic creative firm that defines, builds and maintains the brands of clients in Canada, the United St...

other books by Scott Thornley

The Ambitious City
The Ambitious City

Paperback|Jan 1 2019


Raw Bone
Raw Bone

Kobo ebook|Dec 15 2015


Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8 × 5.16 × 0.84 inPublished:July 5, 2011Publisher:Random House of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307359263

ISBN - 13:9780307359261

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Erasing Memory


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read Loved this novel! Great character development and gripping plot line. Technical and well written. Can't wait to read his other works.
Date published: 2015-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Erasing memory The book was an enjoyable read. I liked the people and will be interested in finding out what happens to them in the next book. The mystery kept your interest and I picked up the book every chance I had. Will read the next one.
Date published: 2015-03-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didnt hold my inteest Wasnt crazy about the book, took me a long time to get through this book, didnt hold my interest sorry
Date published: 2015-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Erasing memory Great plot, interesting characters
Date published: 2014-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Looking forward to more. I enjoyed the different approach and the interesting characters.
Date published: 2014-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from kudos for an awesome first novel i loved this book! it may have been unfair for the media to compare a first-time novelist to the likes of dan brown, setting the bar at an absolute high, but this book was an awesome read, specially for a first novel — i didn’t put it down until i was done. if like me you enjoy a good murder mystery, give this new canadian writer a try! -- i loved the main character and his sophisticated tastes (how many detectives you know drink gappa?), and i loved the artistic way in which the crime scene was set. i think the cover design is perfectly suited for the tone of this crime. anyways, kudos to scott thornley for an awesome first novel!
Date published: 2013-06-02

Extra Content

Read from the Book

It was the same as it always was, chamber music driving up and jazz driving back. But this time he’d asked her, “Why do you want to be buried so far from town?” Kate had smiled and closed her eyes—for such a while that he thought she’d fallen asleep—then softly, but with some strength, as if to ensure that the point made it through the haze of morphine and fatigue, she said, “It’s beautiful there. It’s a lovely drive. Not too far. I know you’ll visit. And”—breathing deeply—“if it was in the city, I doubt you would. Anyway, it’ll get you out of your head for a few hours.” She was right. He’d been up once a month for the past thirty-eight months. When he’d looked at her ashes, he couldn’t see the difference between them and the ashes he retrieved from the fireplace to sprinkle on the garden—he couldn’t reassemble her. And yet, below the ground, beneath a headstone that bore only her initials, KGWM, he could imagine her on her side with her legs slightly tucked up—asleep.  And it did get him out of his head. A cemetery in the city could never do that—the sound of sirens, the headstones of people they’d known, the buzz of traffic nearby would distract from the solace of being near her.He stayed this time, as always, past sundown, reading, watching for birds and announcing each out loud for the odd comfort it gave him—cedar waxwing, swallow, cardinal, chickadee, a rare ruby-throated hummingbird—not because he truly believed she would hear, but because he didn’t entirely disbelieve it. The kitchen of Martha’s Truck Stop stayed open till ten, and on the way back he stopped and ordered the same thing he always did: a hot beef sandwich with gravy, no fries, followed by apple pie and coffee.He was just cresting the Canadian Shield above Lake Charles when the call came over the radio. “All units. All units. We have an anonymous call about a fatality in a beach house on Shore Road, Lake Charles.”MacNeice pressed the hands-free button. “The caller—male or female?”“Male. Over.”“Did he sound agitated, Sylvia?”“No, Mac. Cool as a cucumber, not hurried or concerned. Over.”“Describe his voice—north-end, west-end, local, foreign?” “I’d say foreign, but very educated in English. You can judge for yourself when you hear it. Over.” “Thanks, Syl. I’m about five minutes away from the cut-off to Lake Charles.”From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"For crime fiction junkies, Scott Thornley's first novel, Erasing Memory, a beautifully written police procedural set in a fictional version of Hamilton, just whets our appetite for more. Our hero, senior homicide detective Mac MacNeice, a literate and complex man, who may remind the reader of Peter Robinson's beloved Inspector Banks, runs an interesting team of investigators dealing with a truly weird murder. Please tell me this is the first of a series." --Stevie Cameron, author of On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver's Missing Women"Beginning with a murder unlike any you've ever imagined--or would want to--Scott Thornley spins a gripping tale whose heroes and villains are equally and refreshingly human." --Howard Shrier, author of High ChicagoFrom the Hardcover edition.