Cipher by John Jantunen, ECW Press

Cipher: A Mystery

Jantunen, John

  • A high school football star who chooses a tour of duty in Afghanistan over a potentially lucrative career in the pros. A woman whose career as a nine-ball champion was cut short at the Nationals. A motorcycle accident that leaves a boy in a wheelchair. A gun containing a single bullet. Fires destroying homes throughout Regina. An elusive best friend who makes an incredible and awful sacrifice.

    And Ruby Yee’s spicy black bean balls.

    All of these factors come together when Curtis Mays, football star and local hero, returns home unexpectedly to find his city mourning the death of a little girl — the granddaughter of Saskatchewan’s wealthiest man. As he begins to piece together what has happened, and how his actions may have helped cause it, he realizes that you can try to outrun the past, but you can never escape it.

  • John Jantunen lives in Guelph, Ontario. This is his debut novel.

  • Published: October 2014

    ISBN: 9781770412002

    Dimensions: 5 x 7.75 in.

    Pages: 300


"Motorcycles, pool halls, and spicy black bean balls provide a lively, palpable backdrop for one of the most gripping psychological suspense stories I've ever read. Each sentence pops and crackles with originality and wit. John Jantunen's dark intelligence is a welcome addition to Canadian crime fiction." — Robin Spano, author of Death's Last Run

"John Jantunen spins a convoluted tale of violence and betrayal, driven by the kind of fears that well up in tortured souls on lonely nights. The Prairie locale adds its own sense of alienation and impending doom. An impressive first novel." —John Lawrence Reynolds, author of Beach Strip

“A virtuosic new writer hits the literary stage with this genre bending novel about friendship so deep it cuts to bone. A compelling deeply moral tale that is most akin to the Scandinavian masters of crime fiction." —Sharon Riis, author of The True Story of Ida Johnson and Midnight Twilight Tourist Zone