The Carnivore

Sinnett, Mark

  • “A cleverly constructed and evocatively written novel.” — Booklist

    A wife harbors suspicions about her husband’s image as a hero cop in this suspenseful novel, a winner of the Toronto Book Award

    A historical novel of disaster and betrayal

    Back in 1954, Hurricane Hazel barreled through Toronto, killing eighty-one people. Ray and Mary Townes were a young married couple, and while Mary, a nurse, performed her own small miracles that night, her police officer husband was celebrated for his heroism as the newspapers reported on his lifesaving rescues.

    As the two tried to resume their life together in the shell-shocked city, Mary felt some doubt about her husband’s story. But the truth remained elusive — until the day, decades later, when a reporter came knocking . . .

    Suspenseful and moving, The Carnivore is a tale of both a historical natural disaster, and the quiet dangers that lurk within a marriage, with “many twists and turns [and] lots of action.” (Globe and Mail)

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  • Mark Sinnett is the author of: The Landing (Carleton University Press, 1997), poetry, winner of the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award; Bull (Insomniac Press, 1998), short stories; Some Late Adventure Of The Feelings (ECW Press, 2000), poetry; and The Border Guards (Harper Collins, 2004), a novel/thriller, short-listed for the Arthur Ellis award. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.

  • Published: September 2009

    ISBN: 9781550228984

    Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.

    Pages: 256


“Mark Sinnett could not have invented a more Canadian, more Ontario, more Toronto setting for his remarkable novel.… The Carnivore is a joy to read for its descriptions of a long-ago Toronto.… Sinnett gives us richly detailed descriptions of the streets, buildings and stores, the hullabaloo of the CNE, all of which capture the drowsy mood of the city in the 1950s.” — Literary Review of Canada

“[The Carnivore] weds the pinprick domestic intimacy of Alice Munro with the flop-sweat extra-marital intrigue of James M. Cain.… Sinnett, also an award-winning poet and story writer, has done his homework in preparing for The Carnivore, and he’s executed it with a palpable relish: Toronto circa 1954 is evoked with pungent immediacy.” — Toronto Star

“A cleverly constructed and evocatively written novel.” — Booklist

“Sinnett keeps the pages turning with many twists and turns, while peppering the text with nice turns of phrase.… Sinnett’s meticulous research captures what the sights, sounds and smells of 1954 Toronto might have been like.… This book is for those who want thoughtful prose and fallible characters with their plot.… A reader of any age will find lots of action in The Carnivore on which to gnaw.” — Globe and Mail

The Carnivore is one of those rare literate books that cares enough about the reader to provide a plot … In the physicality of his writing, Sinnett is very much Canadian. This is a novel of primal elements: water, blood and mud. But as a storyteller, the Oxford-born writer is a Brit through and through, doling out information on a need-to-know basis that keeps us reading and learning more and more about his despicably fascinating characters. Sinnett has made an original, terrifying portrait of Toronto’s soul.” — Eye Weekly