On the night of the Rocket Richard Riot in 1955, the legendary Cartier Dagger is stolen from its protective glass case in Montreal's imposing Sun Life Building. The dagger, which once belonged to the explorer Jacques Cartier and has shaped the fate of Samuel de Champlain, the coureurs de bois and countless others, has been on loan to Clarence Campbell, the controversial president of the NHL. Many believe the dagger gives whoever possesses it mystical powers; as a result, its journey through history is as spectacular as it is bloodstained. On the night of its theft, a man id found murdered in a nearby park, with a dagger wound to his heart. Detective Armand Touton recognizes the dead man as his friend and informer Roger Clement, a local hood-lum. But who murdered him, and why?
Thirteen years later, Pierre Elliot Trudeau is prime minister and the separatist movement is gaining momentum in Quebec, where tangled political alliances and corruption are facts of life. The case is still unsolved. Touton asks Emile Cinq-Mars, a young constable, to continue the investigation, warning him to proceed with caution. Wishing to impress Touton, Cinq-Mars must work quickly to wrap his mind around the puzzle of the murder and the dagger's bloody legacy.
Suspenseful and labyrinthine, River City is at once a prequel to John Farrow's bestselling novels City Of Ice and Ice Lake and a panoramic window onto a province's storied past. Farrow brings the city of Montreal and the colorful figures who have shaped its destiny to life in this brilliant novel of politics, greed, murder and myth.