Joey Slinger

Fiction



"Finally! Joey Slinger has written his first novel--and it's about damn time. Punch Line is a raucous tale, deftly told, of murder and its machinations, set in a nursing home peopled entirely with eccentrics. A terrific read."
Will Ferguson

"Joey Slinger lures you into an ominous geriatric world where you shudder and wince in those moments when you're not laughing out loud."
William Weintraub

"Slinger is the funniest writer in Canada."
Michael Enright

Key Porter World Rights Fall 2005
Jakkajungsin Korea 2010

PUNCH LINE

After the death of his wife, Ballantine has time on his hands. He needs a hobby, a purpose, a focus. What better way to assuage his aching loneliness and restore justice than to track down and murder the assholes who caused her to die?

It's a modest idea, but it takes planning, and what with meals to make, pills to take and laundry to do, Ballantine is overworked. He needs a support system—the kind that only a retirement home can offer.

The Cloister is a typical retirement facility, populated by lawyers, druggists, computer buffs, electronics geeks, knitting ladies, discount stock promoters, self-proclaimed messiahs, money launderers, school principals, explosives experts and arms dealers. The 81-year-old Ballantine is their man of mystery, a force whose rusting mind and unreliable digestion galvanizes their hold over life and death.

Does it matter that Dixon, the all-powerful chief executive of The Cloister, and Borofsky, a cop at the tail end of his career, may be on to them? Yes and no. With a bunch of aging homicidal maniacs, even the death penalty is no deterrent.