James W. Nichol



A new novel by the bestselling author of Midnight Cab

In 1946, a little girl finds a severed finger in a Canadian field. It points to a grisly crime that occurred nearby. It also points to the past, to the harrowing events in the life of a young French woman, Adele Georges, in war-torn Rouen.

When Adele’s beloved father is captured by the German forces, she makes inquiries at the local authorities. A German soldier, 19 years old and far from home, tries to help her navigate the bureaucracy. Love grows across the enemy lines, with devastating consequences.

Adele, a seamstress in a factory, is exposed as a “horizontal collaborator” and tortured with other women in the town square. Her lover Manfred has been transferred, and Adele, abandoned by her family, her head shaven, is alone.

Despairing that Manfred has been killed, Adele yields to the protective embrace of a Canadian soldier who marries her and brings her home as a war bride to his small town. He too is scarred by war and twisted by the turmoil of reentry. Adele, stranded on foreign shores, harboring her shameful secret of consorting with the enemy, is terrified of being unmasked.

When Manfred reappears, trying to recapture their youthful love, everyone is tested with deadly consequences. Yet, redemption, truth and renewal are also possible.

Goldmann Germany 2007
Manuscript available



“Plotting and pacing are superb...his dialogue is smart and real...But the characterization is where Nichol shines.”

Detroit Free Press

“This is an engaging thriller that never lets its metaphorical foot off the clutch and races down mysterious roads, all leading back to the past, of course -- with the aplomb of Harlan Coben. It also conjures up one of the most sinister and unforgettable villains crime fiction has drawn in a long time.”

The Guardian /London

“...a compelling read.”

Sunday Telegraph/UK

“Nichol’s elegantly simple and taut prose becomes addictive.”

The Globe and Mail

Walker, age 19. has come to the city to unearth the mystery of his early life. He was left at age three, terror-stricken beside a deserted country road, clutching a wire fence. He had no identification.

Two slim clues were in his pocket: a photograph of two children and a chatty letter from a teenage girl. His clothes indicated that he had been well cared for. A dim memory of his mother makes him feel that he was loved.

Walker’s quest for his identity is more dangerous than he knows. Aided by his girlfriend Krista, he unearths the horrific truth, driving them into the deadly grasp of Bobby, a young man who has matured from early cruelty to murderous pleasures.

- Shortlisted 2004 UK Dagger Award
- Arthur Ellis Award - Best First Novel

Sony Japan 2006
Newton and Compton Italy 2006
Droemer Germany 2005
Canongate U.S.A. 2005
Fleuve Noire France 2005
Luitingh-Sijthoff Netherlands 2005
AST Russia 2005
C & T Poland 2005
Canongate United Kingdom 2004
Knopf Canada 2002
Rest of World: Canongate


James W. Nichol is author of Midnight Cab which is published in several countries including Germany where it is a best seller with sales in excess of 325,000 copies. It was short listed for the Gold Dagger award in the UK, and won the Canadian Crime Writers Award for the best first novel.

He also is a distinguished playwright and screenwriter whose work has been widely performed. He lives in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.