Hot Freeze

Douglas Sanderson

It was cold; bitterly paralysingly cold. There was a dampness in the air that bit into the marrow of your bones and stayed there. The red in the thermometer was below zero and still dropping steadily, and the weather forecasts offered no immediate hope of a let up. The city lay rigid under the stiffening blanket of snow. The air as you breathed it felt solid.

A raw novel of sex and drugs in the years just before rock’n’roll,Hot Freeze moves from the highest Westmount mansion to the lowest Montreal gambling joint and nightclubs. Its hero is Mike Garfin, a man who got kicked out of the rcmp for sleeping with the wife of a suspect. Recreating himself as an “inquiry agent”, Mike takes on what looks to be an easy job, shadowing a bisexual teenaged son of privilege who is throwing around more money than his allowance allows. But the boy disappears. Others soon follow, and Garfin’s world becomes a lonelier place.

First published in February 1954 as a Dodd, Mead Red Detective Mystery title,Hot Freeze enjoyed second and third lives as a Reinhardt hardcover and a Popular Library paperback. In 1955 a French translation, Mon cadavre au Canada, became part of Gallimard’s Serie noir. This Ricochet Books edition is the first in sixty years.

2015

Reviews


Entertaining … the tempo is fast. –The New York Times

Dope, torture, blackmail, murder in this rowdy potpourri. –The Saturday Review

Douglas Sanderson(1920-2002) was a native of Kent, England. A veteran of the raf, after the Second World War he emigrated to Montreal, where he studied briefly at McGill. Sanderson turned to writing mystery thrillers when his first novel met with disappointing sales. Hot Freeze, his second foray into the genre, was followed by twenty others, many written under the noms de plume “Martin Brett” and “Malcolm Douglas”.

Other books by Douglas Sanderson: Blondes Are My Trouble
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