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Buffalo Jump (Jonah Geller #1)

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3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  168 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Toronto investigator Jonah Geller is at a low point in his life. A careless mistake on his last case left him with a bullet in his arm, a busted relationship and a spot in his boss's doghouse. Then he comes home to find notorious contract killer Dante Ryan in his apartment — not to kill him for butting into mob business, as Jonah fears, but to plead for Jonah's help.

Ryan h
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ebook, 253 pages
Published February 12th 2010 by Vintage Canada (first published February 2008)
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Maddy
Feb 20, 2014 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
PROTAGONIST: Jonah Geller, PI
SETTING: Toronto and Buffalo
SERIES: #1
RATING: 3.5
WHY: Jonah Geller is an investigator for a firm in Toronto. He is approached at home by a contract killer named Dante Ryan, who wants his help. Ryan has a contract to kill an entire family but doesn't have the stomach to kill a young boy. In fact, he wants to get out of the game entirely to be with his own family. He asks Geller to find out who ordered the hit. There's a connection to pharmaceutical smuggling to the US
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Kendra
Feb 02, 2010 Kendra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
Howard Shrier jumps into the hard-boiled detective mystery scene with a well-plotted story featuring PI Jonah Geller, who likes to strike out on his own to solve crimes and isn't afraid of rustling the feathers of a few gangsters along the way. Jonah is a likeable and believable character who has a rich background (his Jewish heritage and experiences in the Israeli army) but has hit a few bumps in life, particularly a recent breakup and an on-the-job accident. Jonah is certainly a man's man and ...more
Toni Osborne
Mar 19, 2013 Toni Osborne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book won the Arthur Ellis Award for excellence in crime fiction for best first novel in 2008 and is at the top of my list for being one of the best and original “private eye” mysteries I have read in a long time. Once past the few first chapters which were full of unnecessary explanatory baggage the pages roared on with plot twists and exciting suspense with lots of intrigue. The storyline has an interesting mix of noir, politics and humour. To add depth and richness to the narration the au ...more
Philip
Dec 31, 2012 Philip rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading Buffalo Jump. I like Jonah and I thought this book had a little different story line than most of the current mystery novels and it moved along quite quickly. It took me some time before I figured out what was happening in Buffalo and how it tied into Toronto but eventually it all fell into place. The Toronto setting is fabulous. Howard Shrier makes the city a character in the story every bit as well as Robert Rotenberg does in his Ari Greene series. I particularly like ...more
L. King
Jan 06, 2017 L. King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent 1st novel in a mock Dashiel Hammet style

I love a good mystery. Howard Shrier's first person film noire approach to private investigator Jonah Geller was funny, quick paced and quite entertaining. Like the previous reviewer I also am from Toronto - the descriptions were vivid enough for me to want to pass up hiking the Don Valley, at least when its raining, and the scenes describing sadistic killer Ricky the Clip were perhaps too disturbing. Dante Ryan was a great character as was Fre
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Kristen
Aug 01, 2012 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The best words I can come up with to describe this story are: raw, gritty and intense. While it isn't a great fit for my interests in books, if you like a more aggressive style of murder/suspense story, it may be right for you. If you think you'd like Sam Spade written with a 2000's permissibility of language and plot, this could be your book.

Jonah Geller is a private investigator in Toronto who can't seem to stay out of trouble. He's barely recovered from a gunshot wound in the course of his pr
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Joe
Jan 12, 2015 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
FLABBY

Buffalo Jump introduces the reader to Jonah Geller, a PI in Toronto – working for a security firm – who has an eclectic, but useful past for his new profession – Israeli military and karate instructor. Jonah is nursing physical wounds – he was shot in his previous botched job; emotional hurt – his girlfriend has just left him; and psychological scars – his dream-world haunted by his time in the military. Just to add to the misery – Jonah’s car won’t start and he’s forced to take public tra
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Alison Hardtmann
Nov 22, 2016 Alison Hardtmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
A good crime novel is one that knows when to follow the rules of the genre and when to play with them. This is a hard-boiled PI tale that knows the rules and breaks them with style. Jonah Geller works for a large detective agency where he was, until recently, a rising star. A mistake has left him with the scar and pain from a bullet wound and a reduction in his duties to filing paper and running errands for other PIs. Geller is both the classic PI, living alone, a little lonely, with a quick mou ...more
Heather Pearson
Feb 11, 2017 Heather Pearson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, mystery
I borrowed this book from my library for my husband to read and ended up reading myself it instead.

It is an unusual PI story where Dante Ryan, a mob hitman, turns to P.I. Jonah Geller to help him avoid carrying out a killing he's been contracted to do.

Jonah then gets side tracked when helping a co-worker with another investigation, or does he. I can't reveal any more of the story, just that it keeps twisting away from where I thought it was heading. I will say that the bad guys were undertaking
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Rob Kitchin
Buffalo Jump is the first book in the Toronto-based Jonah Geller private investigator series. For me it was a book of two halves. The first half was quite pedestrian and I felt little affinity for the tale or the characters. About halfway through, however, the story seemed to shift register and became more engaging and compelling. In part, I think, this was because Geller became more multidimensional as chunks of his back story were divulged (he’s the usual flawed, damaged, independent PI, but h ...more
Tobin Elliott
Apr 28, 2013 Tobin Elliott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-copy
This was a solid debut of the Jonah Geller series. For some damn reason, I'm reading them all out of order, starting with the third one, Boston Cream>, then this, the first. Which means I'll read the second, then fourth, then all will be right with the world.

Anyway, I found the writing to be solid, assured, excellent dialogue and pacing and the story grew very nicely throughout the novel. Shrier's handling of Geller with Detective Sergeant Katherine Hollinger, and with Dante Ryan just sparkle
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Amy Paget
Toronto investigator Jonah Geller is at a low point in his life. A careless mistake on his last case left him with a bullet in his arm, a busted relationship and a spot in his boss's doghouse. Then he comes home to find notorious contract killer Dante Ryan in his apartment - not to kill him for butting into mob business, as Jonah fears, but to plead for Jonah's help. -- NovelistPlus. I thoroughly enjoyed the setting of this novel, having lived in Toronto for several years. The characterization i ...more
Rodger Campbell
Mar 01, 2013 Rodger Campbell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Howard Shrier Novel that I read and I quickly followed it with the next three about investigator Howard Geller a Toronto PI. I love the conceit of the Agency's name... World Repairs. I love that he hooks up with a criminal (in the Elvis Costello - Joe Pike mould). The story rattles along nicely. The descriptions of Toronto and Chicago are spot on and really set the scene beautifully. This is a "Goodread".
Hella Comat
Mar 20, 2013 Hella Comat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not only written by a Canadian author, but set in Toronto and a bit in Buffalo, this is a crime mystery centred around a main character who works as an investigator. The plot involves lots of action, a contract killer, smuggling prescription drugs over the border, and underworld factions competing for power. Lots of fun, and well written. This is a first novel, and I agree with Linwood Barclay who wrote that he's looking forward to Howard Shrier's next book.
Stacy
Jun 04, 2010 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After languishing on my shelf for over five years, I finally picked up this book and am glad I did so. The first novel in the Jonah Geller series, this was a modern day hard-boiled PI sort of novel. Set in Toronto it delves into the pharmaceutical world and the mob. It started off a bit uneven, but once the author was able to establish the characters and eventually get to revealing their back stories it picked up.
Jo-anne
Nov 07, 2016 Jo-anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a new kid on the block for me; Howard Shrier's private investigator Jonah Geller. I was immediately captivated by the main character and the story line. Other features that added to my enjoyment; the Toronto setting, the Jewish connection, humour despite the darkness of murder, strong supporting characters. I'm really looking forward to getting to know Jonah Geller better in further books.
Brenda Chapman
Dec 30, 2011 Brenda Chapman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing is tight with witty dialogue and a fast-paced plot. The Toronto setting is nicely captured as is Jonah Geller's Jewish heritage. The premise of a PI working with a hit man to save a family is original, the characters are layered and skillfully portrayed, and the suspense builds throughout. A well written page-turner.
Teena in Toronto
I'd read Shrier's second Jonah book and liked it so I wanted to go back and read the first one.

I enjoyed this book ... I like mysteries and there aren't a lot that are based in Canada or Toronto.

I found, though, that there were a lot of characters and it was hard to keep everyone straight.

I like Jonah and I hope Shier continues with the series.
Jac Revival
May 16, 2013 Jac Revival rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great read - not only does Howard Shrier lather in plenty of action he does so with a generous dollop of splendid humour. Stir in some locations and references that many Canadians should be familiar with and - voila - a novel you'll find difficult to put down. (Which was exactly my problem - ended up with a wee shortage of sleep.)

And now - on to source Shrier's other work!
Brian Leclair
Feb 13, 2014 Brian Leclair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I accidentally stumbled across this book in the library... and I'm very glad that I did! Howard Shrier has created an eccentric and engaging lead character in Toronto investigator Jonah Geller, and we follow Jonah on a very intriguing cross-border shopping story. I can't wait to read the next adventure!
Dennis Osborne
Dec 29, 2016 Dennis Osborne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the author's first book and it won an award for best mystery from a first time author. The book is mainly based in Toronto and it's great to relate to so many recognizable landmarks. The plot and characters are interesting , with the author is exhibiting a good sense of humour. Definetly will look for more books from this author.
Peggy
Jan 24, 2011 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, canadian
I would probably rather give this book 3.5 stars. It's a good story, a page-turner even, topical subject (especially 2-3 years ago - sales of Canadian prescription drugs to Americans), a Toronto setting with lots of place names and a likeable protagonist. But it is a story about the mob with a fair amount of violence and dead bodies. But there is humour too. First in a new series.
Andrew
Jan 07, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Jonah Geller is a very strong main character for this plot. Everyone he encounters is memorable and their own character. I liked the way the timeline flowed. The only downside for me was all the mob names being dropped got confusing at times. I would definitely recommend this book.
Lioness
Jul 30, 2009 Lioness rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A well written suspense novel - not my usual type of book but I know both locations - Buffalo and Toronto and that was enough to get me to try it. The writing and the plot and characters were enough to keep me going.
Djdee
May 17, 2011 Djdee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read.Interesting approach.Kept my interest!Nice to read canadian authors and books set in familar cities!
Kyla Squires
I enjoyed this, and I love the Canadian Crime Fiction rule of slagging the Leafs.
Brandon Nagel
Excellent story and characters. Looking forward to picking up the next book in the series.
Dianne Landry
Jul 07, 2012 Dianne Landry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the descriptions of Toronto. This was an enjoyable book and I will definitely read his nexgt books. I really like Jonah Geller's character and I love his Jewish mother.
Ann-marie Michocki
This was a good book with a very interesting plot. The characters were well developed.
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Award-winning author Howard Shrier was born and raised in Montreal, where he earned an Honours Degree in Journalism and Creative Writing at Concordia University. Since then he has worked in a wide variety of media, including print, magazine and radio journalism, theatre and television, sketch comedy and improv. He has also been a senior communications advisor to government agencies. He now lives i ...more
More about Howard Shrier...

Other Books in the Series

Jonah Geller (4 books)
  • High Chicago (Jonah Geller #2)
  • Boston Cream (Jonah Geller #3)
  • Miss Montreal (Jonah Geller #4)

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