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Black Rock (Eddie Dougherty Mystery #1)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  67 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Montreal 1970. The “Vampire Killer” has murdered three women and a fourth is missing. Bombs explode in the stock exchange, McGill University, and houses in Westmount. Riots break out at the St. Jean Baptiste parade and at Sir George Williams University. James Cross and Pierre Laporte are kidnapped and the Canadian army moves onto the streets of Montreal.

A young beat cop wo
Paperback, 424 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by ECW Press (first published 2013)
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Community Reviews

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~♡ Unsolved Mystery ♡~
I can't get into this book.

I made it to 5%. The writing was kinda all over the place. It made it difficult to follow.

Since I didn't finish this one, I will not be reading book 2.

There will not be a rating.
Jan 24, 2014 Col rated it really liked it
Shelves: m, 2014

Montreal 1970. The “Vampire Killer” has murdered three women and a fourth is missing. Bombs explode in the stock exchange, McGill University, and houses in Westmount. Riots break out at the St. Jean Baptiste parade and at Sir George Williams University. James Cross and Pierre Laporte are kidnapped and the Canadian army moves onto the streets of Montreal.

A young beat cop working out of Station Ten finds himself almost alone hunting the serial killer, as the rest of the f
Rob Kitchin
Oct 05, 2014 Rob Kitchin rated it it was amazing
There’s much to like about Black Rock, a historical police procedural set in Montreal in 1970 -- attention to historical detail, the sense of place, the intersecting story lines, and the characterisation. McFetridge bases the story around two real cases -- the ‘vampire killer’, a serial killer operating in the city, and the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ), a separatist terrorist movement that left hundreds of bombs across the city before moving on to kidnapping two high profile officials -- ...more
Dec 26, 2014 Seana rated it it was amazing
One of the many great things about this novel is the way it captures the real world dilemma of the apportionment of police resources. Drawn from the historically accurate 1970s Montreal, much of the dilemma is how its protagonist Eddie Doherty will work both the case he cares about, the murder of a young woman that he knew, and the one that everyone else does, the terrorist bombings and kidnappings that are besetting the city. Underneath the well-paced and sometimes wry police procedural is a ...more
Apr 27, 2015 Colleen rated it really liked it
In October 1970 I had just started university, and for the first time in my (sheltered) life I saw armed military and police on the streets of Ottawa. Turbulent times around the world were felt in Canada too. Black Rock has this period as the back drop to a more prosaic murder. The divided city of Montreal is shown up as police go about their work, dealing with political bombings, kidnappings and murder, as well as purely criminal murders. Reminiscent for me, with a lot more understanding of the ...more
Bridget Coyle
Nov 25, 2016 Bridget Coyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story line

Story line was wonderful and flowed well. Personally all the back and forth between French and English (albeit fairly minimal) was a bit distracting and made it less comfortable for me to read. Enough so that I will check out his future books and not read them if they are all written the same way.
Apr 15, 2016 Andrea rated it really liked it
At the end of this book, the author explains that much of the story is based on true events that were happening in Montreal in 1969 to 1970, and confirms that every single bomb described in the book is based on a real bomb. This is astonishing, because there’s a bomb on almost every page. Patrol cop Eddie Dougherty’s job seems to have turned into locating bombs and waiting while Vachon, the bomb expert, defuses them. As well as being violent, the atmosphere surrounding Eddie is also almost ...more
Wendy Merks
really like it
Dana King
Apr 28, 2014 Dana King rated it it was amazing
John McFetridge has lingered in the gray area of writers for years. Critically acclaimed, a “writer’s writer” of whose work his peers could not get enough. Readers have been slower to the party. Sales of his Toronto series have not kept pace with the praise, leaving McFetridge dangerously close to becoming a cult writer. (As defined by the late Donald Westlake, a cult writer is an author seven readers shy of making a living.)

Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back in order to take two steps
Jun 21, 2014 Carolyn rated it liked it
This is a routine police investigative novel into the serial murder of three women and the disappearance of a fourth. The media has dubbed the case 'The Vampire Killer". The book was interesting to me more because of the historical and time-frame setting than the criminal investigation.
Occurring in Montreal during the FLQ crisis in Quebec, there are riots, bomb explosions at Sir George Williams University, stock exchange, McGill University and Westmount homes. British Trade Commissioner, Jame
Sam Wiebe
Dec 03, 2014 Sam Wiebe rated it it was amazing
The cool thing about Black Rock, other than the writing, is how authentic it feels to the era--a lot of historical novels overdo the nostalgia and forget that time periods bleed into each other. So you'll get a guy wearing bell bottoms, listening to the new Bee Gees song, and driving this year's model car. As if everyone alive was defined only by the events and mainstream cultural products of that one year.

With Black Rock, there's a lot of historical detail that could only happen in 1970--the FL
Ron S
Jan 06, 2014 Ron S rated it really liked it
Crime fiction based on true events set in 1970 Montreal. While most Canadians will be at least familiar with the FLQ and the kidnappings of James Cross and Pierre Laporte, McFetridge does a great job of painting a wider portrait of the times, which included bombings at the stock exchange and McGill University, the murders of three women, and a city in thrall to corruption with organized crime expanding its grip. Planes are hijacked, political figures assassinated and musicians die as the War ...more
Rob Brunet
Aug 03, 2014 Rob Brunet rated it really liked it
John McFetridge uses the backdrop of the FLQ October Crisis in Montreal to tell the story of a beat cop finding his way on the job. The mystery that drives Black Rock is the kind of case that would be front page news any other time, but McFetridge’s Eddie Dougherty is one of few people taking notice. This creates a realistic tension between the young constable’s story and that of a city going through the nightmare of continual bomb scares. Black Rock weaves in plenty of 1970s Montreal. The ...more
Nov 16, 2015 Kendra rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for good Canadian crime novels -- and this police procedural hit many of the right notes for me. The book boasts a winning combination of historical fiction and the fresh, emerging police-constable-detective-wannabe. Set during Montreal 1970, with a heavy focus on the FLQ crisis, young police officer Dougherty is torn between bomb threats, political kidnapping, and a compelling serial murder case he just can't stop investigating. Dougherty's fresh-faced naivete was believable in his ...more
Jul 23, 2014 Lis rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
A nicely done police-procedural, set in Montreal in 1970. Lots of real events and situations pictured (kidnappings, bombings, FLQ, French-English tensions etc) as a backdrop for a fictional murder story. Introduces a young Anglo/Francophone police constable named Eddie Dougherty. (Clearly lays the basis for a series, following him in his police career - at the end of the book he is advised to take the detective exam.)

I enjoyed it, and the writing was quite fresh and non-formulaic. I liked the ch
Gary Van Cott
Jan 22, 2015 Gary Van Cott rated it really liked it
This book is a bit outside of my normal reading range (set in Canada and in 1970) but I really enjoyed it. I lived in Plattsburgh NY from 1974-1980 which is only 60 miles from Montreal. Plattsburgh is mentioned in the book in a song title. I didn't get to Montreal that often when I was in Plattsburgh (mostly for the 1976 Olympics and a couple of baseball games). I am glad the major troubles were over when I was there.
Jill Edmondson
Jul 20, 2014 Jill Edmondson rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a police procedural in ages and ages, so it was a treat to dive into this! I loved the main character Eddie (Dog-er-dee), and Montreal in 1970 is a terrific setting for a crime novel (heavily steeped in reality - McFetridge certainly did his homework.) Great mystery - highly recommended!
Sep 09, 2015 Judie rated it really liked it
Black Rock as historical fiction is perfect. I lived in Montreal during this period and Mr. McFetridge got it all right. The mystery is bang on. This is the first of his books that I've read, but it won't be the last.
Jan 14, 2015 Beth rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading Black Rock by John McFetridge. For anyone having lived through the events of 1969/1970 era, this is a blast from the past. It was great revisiting places I've actually been, a town where I grew up and meeting a very interesting lead character. Highly recommend it!
Jul 04, 2016 Gilda rated it did not like it
Unlike other reviewers on Goodreads, I did not enjoy this book. I found it too long - and too wordy. I did enjoy the references to the various parts of Montreal as I'm a native Montrealer. I found the storyline dragged and it wrapped up too quickly.
Caroline Ingvaldsen
Aug 02, 2016 Caroline Ingvaldsen rated it really liked it
The first of the Eddie Dougherty mysteries is a sparsely written, fully plotted and characterized serial killer murder mystery set during the 1970 FLQ crisis in Montreal.
Dec 24, 2015 Peggy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, canadian
Set in Montreal in 1970 at height of FLQ crisis, there is lots of period detail. It's a police procedural, but constable Eddie Dougherty is not even a detective. However, I suspect he will be soon...
Dec 01, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it
Pretty good. Would read another from this author. Story had a deliberate pace. Not flashy, forced, or unbelievable, which would have ruined it.

Newmarket library.
Akira Watts
Akira Watts rated it liked it
Jan 03, 2016
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Sep 22, 2014
Kate rated it it was ok
Dec 08, 2015
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Diane Vallere rated it it was amazing
Sep 14, 2014
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On the back of my books it says:

John McFetridge, author of Dirty Sweet and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, became fascinated with crime when attending a murder trial at age twelve with his police officer brother. McFetridge has co-written a short story collection, Below the Line. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.

More about John McFetridge...

Other Books in the Series

Eddie Dougherty Mystery (2 books)
  • A Little More Free (Eddie Dougherty Mystery #2)

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