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Cole Blackwater’s life isn’t what it used to be. Once a political superstar within Ottawa’s environmental movement, he now runs a nearly defunct conservation strategy consulting firm that distinctly lacks a paying client. His ex-wife loathes him for a scandalous affair that ended their marriage, he feels he’s failing his eight-year-old daughter as a father, and he’s turning far too often to the bottle to solve his problems.
When Peggy McSorlie, head of the Eastern Slopes Conservation Group, seeks his help to stop a mining project planned for Alberta’s magnificent Cardinal Divide, Blackwater jumps on the opportunity to earn enough money to pay the rent and buy a few pints at his favorite pub. But when Mike Barnes, head of the mining project, is brutally murdered and a radical member of Eastern Slopes is accused of killing him, Blackwater must first prove the man’s innocence in order to save his own business, and the future of the Cardinal Divide.
"A rough-edged environmentalist morphs into a hard-boiled private investigator in Stephen Legault's unique first novel, which somehow bridges the gap between environmental impact study and murder mystery—no mean feat!"
"A gripping murder mystery, and a gritty exposé of the conflict between conservation and business in small-town Alberta. Legault paints a sharp, memorable portrait of the eastern slope region and its people."
"The Cardinal Divide is a page-turner of a mystery and an interesting work of pulp fiction... with serious environmental issues at its heart."