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ISBN 13: 978-1-55017-149-5
ISBN 10: 1-55017-149-6
6 x 9 - 240 pp
August 1996
CAD$21.95 • USD$21.95

Dead Man's Ticket

"A pulpy romp through the seamy underbelly of Vancouver in the 1950s." -Vancouver Province

Book Description

BC's favourite bush poet unwraps his second novel, a noirish mystery tour through unfamiliar and dangerous terrain.

Dead Man's Ticket is part logger's story, part thriller, and all page-turner: Terry Belshaw, the protagonist of Trower's acclaimed first novel Grogan's Cafe, makes his way through the seamy world of Vancouver's tenderloin district of the 1950s. He rubs shoulders with heroin junkies and zoot-suited hoodlums, whose hip jargon and shady activities fascinate him.

When his best friend Frankie drops dead surprisingly, Belshaw is determined to uncover the truth about his buddy's death, but first he has to put in time at a logging camp in Frankie's place - on an unlucky "dead man's ticket." Back in Vancouver's Skid Road, Terry gathers clues and becomes entangled with Frankie's beautiful girlfriend Carlotta - who seems to know more about Frankie's death than she is willing to let on - and a notorious underworld punk who is Terry's own doppleganger. When Belshaw meets his nemesis in the novel's riveting climax, he is confronted with the dark side of himself. Only one side survives.

Dead Man's Ticket offers a rare glimpse of fascinating netherworlds, from the Press Club where a buxom chanteuse warbles "Moonlight in Vermont" to Miranda's Cafe, known to its patrons as the Junkyard. Trower deftly recreates Vancouver's Skid Road of 1952, with its jumping nightclub scene and intriguing cast of loggers, winos, hookers, hustlers and rounders.