Detectives Price and McKeon are called to the scene — a husband and wife found slumped in their car, parked sideways on a busy downtown on-ramp, a bullet in each of their heads. That's what's in the papers, and that's all the public sees. Toronto the Good, with occasional specks of random badness.
But behind that disposable headline, Toronto's shadow city sprawls outwards, a grasping and vicious economy of drugs, guns, sex, and gold bullion. And that shadow city feels just like home for Get — a Detroit boy, project-raised, ex-army, Iraq and Afghanistan, only signed up for the business opportunities, plenty of them over there. Now he's back, and he's been sent up here by his family to sell guns to Toronto's fast-rising biker gangs, maybe even see about a partnership.
The man Get needs to talk to is Nugs, leader of the Saints of Hell. Nugs is overseeing unprecedented progress, taking the club national, uniting bikers coast-to-coast (by force if necessary), pushing back against the Italians, and introducing a veneer of respectability. Beards trimmed to goatees, golf shirts instead of leather jackets, and SUVs replacing the bikes. And now the cops can't tell the difference between bikers and bankers.
Detectives Price and McKeon? All they can do is watch and grimace and drink, and sweep up the detritus left in crime's wake — dead hookers, cops corrupted and discarded, anyone else too slow and weak to keep up, or too stupid not to get out of the way. This is Toronto's shadow city, and you won't recognize it.
“Canada’s answer to Elmore Leonard is going places . . .”
— Toronto Star
John McFetridge, author of Dirty Sweet and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, became fascinated with crime when attending a murder trial at age twelve with his police officer brother. McFetridge has also co-written a short story collection, Below the Line and has written for CTV’ s new television series The Bridge. He lives in Toronto with his family, and writes regular updates on his website (johnmcfetridge.ca) and his blog (johnmcfetridge.blogspot.com).
Published: September 2009
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.
“In Swap, John McFetridge gives readers an in-depth look into the world of organized crime in the form of outlaw biker gangs, and the difficulties law enforcement faces trying to quash them...The tension is palpable and the reader waits for the one spark that will ignite a bloody turf war...Swap's dialogue displays much of [Elmore] Leonard's sparkle, and the novel's terse, staccato prose evokes [Ken] Bruen. But Swap is more than just the sum of its influences. It grabs you by the throat and squeezes until you agree to read just on page, just one more page.” — Quill & Quire
“In just three novels -- his first two were Dirty Sweet and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere — McFetridge has demonstrated gifts that put him in Elmore Leonard territory as a writer, and make Toronto as gritty and fascinating as Leonard's Detroit...[McFetridge] is a class act, and he's creating fictional classics — maybe even that great urban literature of Toronto the critics now and then long for.” — London Free Press
“If you still believe in Toronto the Good, meet J.T. and Vernard McGetty, two main characters in John McFetridge's crime novel Swap...In some ways this novel is a meditation on Toronto, as viewed by those who make a living either breaking or enforcing the law, and who, in many cases, have seen great changes over three or four decades... it might well serve as an eye-opener to McFetridge's Canadian readers.”— The National Post
“The characters and situations are realistic, the setting familiar... McFetridge has a gift for dialogues that has earned him apt comparisons to Elmore Leonard... This is a book for readers of gritty crime fiction - the kind written by authors such as Leonard, Ken Bruen and George Peleccanos.” — Guelph Mercury
"The magic of the writer's electric prose lies in his sense of pacing and his ability to create plausible dialogue between characters."— Scene Magazine
“Readers of gritty, tough and in your face crime novels will enjoy McFetridge’s books. He develops his voice with each one, and his Toronto series gets better and better." — Crime Fiction Lover