Hot Freeze

Hot Freeze

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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.
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