Created by Craig Terlson
“I ran into Franko Toledo three weeks ago while searching for a delinquent husband in Santa Fe. Truth was, his last name wasn’t Toledo. That’s just where he came from: Toledo, Spain… I never got Franko’s real last name until I saw it on his hospital bracelet.”
— the first lines to Manistique.
He doesn’t even like the phrase “private eye.” He thinks it invites comparisons to Mannix. And Luke’s not that kinda guy.
It’s just that, well, he has a knack for finding people, especially those who don’t want to be found, or those nobody wants found.
Plus, Luke’s a bit of a shit magnet, anyway. No matter where he goes.
When we first meet Luke in Surf City Acid Drop (2015), he’s doing the beach bum thing, drinking Pacificos and working his way through a bowl of cholula peanuts on a beach in Mexico, staring at the ocean. Just another lost Canadian a long, long way from home (apparently there was “some undisclosed nasty business in his home and native land,”). Now he squeezes out a living, picking up jobs for the “somewhat shady” Benno, “errands, the odd knocking of heads” and tracking down strays, mostly in Mexico and the Southwest.
But the dude gets around.
In the long anticipated sequel, Manistique (2021), Luke finds himself in Santa Fe, New Mexico, hooking up with an old acquaintance, a P.I. named Franko, and eventually ends up in Manistique, on Michigan’s upper peninsula, while 2023’s Three Minute Hero has Benno sending him off to Colorado.
Suffice it to say I’m impressed. The slightly off-kilter plotting, the dialogue so fresh it feels more eavesdropped than written, the characters who always seem to have just just blown in on their way to somewhere else, the elbows-out storytelling and the dark humour go down real easy, while the beaches and dive bars, the wasted days and fugitive nights and the meandering road trips (Mexico, Missoula, Montreal, etc.)–conjure up a weird but satisfying Travis McGee meets James Crumley vibe.
I almost expected Meyer–or at least Fireball Roberts–to pop up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Canadian prairie boy and confirmed pantser Craig Terlson‘s fiction has appeared in Carve, Hobart, Smokelong Quarterly, and other nefarious literary journals in the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa, and is the author of the novels Fall in One Day, Correction Line and the short story collection, Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry (don’t ask). A professional graphic designer with clients all across North America, he’s also done the covers for all his books, which is way cool.
- “Luke Fischer is an utterly addictive character—my favourite knight in tarnished armour since the great Travis McGee.”
— Ed Church
- “Manistique is a MOOD! It’s a tense, fast-paced crime novel with an irresistibly atmospheric literary tone and a cast of unforgettable characters. Luke Fischer has a twisty sense of humour and straight sense of honour that together make him an everyman hero who you just want to share a couple Pacificos.”
— Theresa Therrien
- Surf City Acid Drop (2015) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Manistique (2021) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Three Minute Hero (2023) | Buy this book | Kindle it!