Dave Wakeland

Created by Sam Wiebe

Sam Wiebe, author of the raw, bruising (and Shamus-nominated) P.I. novel Last of the Independents (2014) returns with another damaged young Vancouver private eye, DAVE WAKELAND, in Invisible Dead (2016).

Don’t be a chump and ignore this new one, thinking you’ve read it all before. Wakeland may not even be thirty yet, but he’s already accumulated almost as much emotional damage and psychological scar tissue as wisdom.

Once again it’s a young woman missing for far too long who’s the catalyst, but this time it’s not the disappearance of a friend’s innocent young girl who haunts the detective.

Wakeland never knew Chelsea Loam, who disappeared eleven years earlier. But when he’s hired to find her after all these years, he soon realizes she may have been a lot of things, but “innocent” doesn’t seem to have ever been one of them. The trail soon leads to a convicted serial killer, a biker gang, far too many nasty secrets and far too many nasty (and dangerous) people who would rather those secrets were never exposed.

Beautiful British Columbia, my ass. This is the face of Vancouver tourists never see… if they’re lucky.

Sam Wiebe’s crime fiction has been published internationally. His first novel, Last of the Independents (2014) introduced Vancouver P.I. Michael Drayton, and since then hes projects have included audio adaptations of Hamlet and Frankenstein, an independent film script, and the Wakeland series, which now includes Cut You Down (2018) and Hell and Gone (2021).  He’s also the editor, appropriately enough, of  Vancouver Noir, a 2018 Askashic release.


  •  “… a study in both riveting crime writing and stark social realism.”
    — The Toronto Star on Cut You Down
  • “A timely, gripping story that rages with frustration and anger at what might have been and what might yet be; a book that does for the missing women of the Downtown Eastside what Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath did for migrant workers. Complex, brilliantly crafted, it has an underlying sadness that permeates every gritty, lyrical word.”
    — Peggy Blair on Invisible Dead
  • “A gripping, wrenching, brilliant piece of fiction, quite possibly the definitive Vancouver crime novel… outstanding.”
    Owen Laukkanen on Invisible Dead
  • Invisible Dead does all the things that only the PI novel can do, pushing the limits of morals to the breaking point in the pursuit of truth. Dave Wakeland is a great guide into the dark soul of Vancouver, never stopping and never looking away.”
    John McFetridge
  • “No one is writing contemporary Vancouver better than Sam Wiebe. Taking in the full life of a North American city while also building out a clever plot that upends femme fatale tropes, creating an incredibly smart and frightening villain in their place, is what Wiebe achieves in Cut You Down. It’s a book that shows the city… isn’t just the postcard tech-hub hiking paradise, but a complex centre of class conflict, where people just trying to pay rent live half a block down from the CEOs of ultra-rich conglomerates. And, as with any situation equally rich in financial opportunity, desperation, and ambition, there’s always crime.”
    — Naben Ruthnum 



  • “Next to Nothing” (September 2014, Dark Corners)
  • “No Place to Fall” (January 2016, The Dark City)
  • “Hollywood North” (2018, digital) Kindle it!
  • “Wonderful Life” (2018, Vancouver Noir)
  • “Next Up” (2021, Mickey Finn 2)
  • There were also a few stories featuring Jeff Chen, Dave’s sometime partner:
  • “Black Light Marker” (Winter 2012,  Spinetingler)
  • “Albuquerque” (May/June 2017, Suspense)


Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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