The River Killers by Bruce Burrows

The River Killers

byBruce Burrows

Kobo ebook | September 15, 2011

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Danny Swanson, Department of Fisheries and Oceans employee and ex-fisherman, isn’t exactly upset when he’s reassigned from a desk job in Ottawa to an at-sea job on the West Coast. His superiors think they’re punishing him for his indiscretions, but Danny is pleased to be back on the Pacific, reconnecting with his old fishing buddies. Revisiting his past life, though, is trolling up some old memories, including a troubling incident from ten years ago, when Danny and his crew pulled up a deformed fish. It was young Billy who decided to bring the odd creature to the DFO in Vancouver for examination. Billy and the fish were never seen again. Now, Danny’s buddy is on his mind when he stumbles across a photo of the fish in the DFO databases, and suddenly, Danny can’t let Billy’s disappearance get swept under the rug.

With the help of RCMP Sergeant Louise Karavchuk, Danny starts hauling old histories to the surface and delving into what he starts to believe may be a massive conspiracy. Who can Danny trust in his search for the truth? The organized, well-dressed officials of the DFO? Or his somewhat rowdy and rough-around-the-edges fishing buddies from the past?

Title:The River KillersFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 15, 2011Publisher:TouchWood EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1926971574

ISBN - 13:9781926971575

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Sinister Plot on BC's Wild Western Seacoast Former fisherman, commercial diver, and lately at-sea observer, Bruce Burrows makes a big splash with his first novel. From page one, the reader is plunged into the fascinating and perilous world of Canada’s fishery. As a student, Danny Swanson worked on the British Columbia boats to earn his university tuition. One fateful and nearly forgotten moment would prove significant: “By this time we were all sweating from the effort of pulling the brailler though the bag of fish, lifting and swinging it over the hatch…. We were starting to shed our hot and smelly raingear, setting into a rhythm and abandoning ourselves to the wet and slime. It was probably about the seventy-fifth brailler that we noticed the strange fish….It was twice the size of a normal sockeye, and misshapen.” Now, years later, Danny works for the Department of Fisheries and knows all the insider jokes and frustrations of the bloated and hypocritical bureaucracy managing one of the world’s most successful renewable resources. His indiscretions and insistence of putting people over politics leads to his “exile” on the west coast, north Vancouver Island, a wild and breathtaking part of the country seen by a privileged few. He’s supposed to be organizing the opening of the roe herring fishery, a brief but lucrative interaction more complicated that one would suppose. And Danny couldn’t be more pleased to be back among fisherman friends and smelling the salt sea instead of the Ottawa smog. Problem is, an old scientist friend who’d been living on the coast hermit-style has been found dead in an apparent suicide due to depression. Danny thinks back to a time years ago when they worked together. When the season ended, a young man off the boat disappeared, never to be found. They had just found a mutant salmon, which the fisherman was taking for examination to officials in Vancouver. Neither one was ever seen again. Salmon stocks are the lifeblood of the province and world famous for their wild-fish nutrients and safety. Was the monster fish an anomaly or part of a sinister plot? The RCMP becomes mildly interested in the hermit’s death once Danny pleads his case, and Danny becomes the semi-official liaison of an attractive young female officer, Louise Karavchuk. Together they examine the “suicide,” which took place in a houseboat moored miles from civilization. With conservative Louise using the RCMP investigation channels and more impetuous Danny filling in the fishing lore, they make a great combination. Yet evil forces, even at powerful high levels, will stop at nothing to keep the past where it belongs and make the most of the present and future. Big international money is at stake far beyond the realm of the fish supply. Danny has a self-deprecating sense of humour which keeps him bobbing to the top despite extraordinary challenges. Louise plays an excellent straight man, by times furious when he oversteps his bounds, then rushing to his bedside. The final actor in this play is the ocean itself, with its breathtaking scenery and valiant people who ply its waters. The balance of nature is precarious, and all bets are off when man intrudes. The tasty salmon species may go the way of the eastern cod if guardians like Danny aren’t there to protect Canada’s treasure.
Date published: 2011-08-23