In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Russell Banks, Guy Vanderhaeghe, and Annie Proulx, this much-anticipated new novel by the bestselling author of Red Dog, Red Dog is set over the course of 48 hours in a remote sawmill community where violence, complicity, and inaction run deep, and explores the burden of bearing witness to a terrible crime.
World War Two vet Art Kenning is the alcoholic first-aid man in an isolated sawmill village in the interior of B.C., where he dreads the sound of the five whistles that summon him to the mill floor whenever a worker is hurt. Traumatized by an incident in Holland, when he stood by while members of his unit committed a horrific act, he loses himself in drink, and in memories of the love affair he had with a woman in wartime Paris. But the sad comfort of his self-imposed detachment is shattered when one of the most powerful men at the mill arrives at his door late one evening to ask for his help. What unfolds over the course of that night and following day will force Art to confront acts of evil, both in the present and the past, as well as the tragic consequences of his own inaction.
Alternating with Art's story is that of Joel, a teenaged runaway who owes his life to Art, and Wang Po, the mill's cook and a survivor of the Rape of Nanjing. Through the eyes of this trio of outsiders, the reader is brought deep into a morally ambiguous world, revealing a place where the undercurrents of violence are never far from the surface.