Hands Like Clouds
When environmental warrior Ira Connaught turns up hanging by the neck from an ancient rainforest cedar overlooking the wasteland of a clear-cut on Clayoquot Sound, everyone seems content to declare his death a suicide. The tree spiker won’t be missed by loggers, Tofino’s RCMP detachment, or by many environmentalists who applauded his goals but condemned his tactics.
For reluctant community coroner Elias McCann, Ira’s death looks increasingly like a murder. Elias is no forensic pathologist, no doctor. A quirk in BC law enables anyone of good community standing to be appointed local coroner. But RCMP Sergeant Gary Danchuk does not believe that Elias meets even the quirk in the law. Danchuk remains convinced – against all evidence – that McCann murdered his wife, Merriam, two years earlier in order to clear the way for his love affair with Vhanna Chan.
Hands Like Clouds is the first in a series of mysteries revolving around the troubled life of Elias McCann, son of a remittance man and local coroner.
Mark Zuehlke’s protagonist in Hands Like Clouds is one of the most original I’ve ever encountered in crime fiction.
The Mystery Review
I was completely swept up by Hands Like Clouds.