James W. Nichol



"This excellent third novel by Nichol is perfect for fans of good crime fiction...the characters are solid and the story is really intriguing."
The Globe & Mail

"Nichol displays a provocative talent for writing that gets under your skin in his most recent novel, Transgression. Death Spiral deepens this rich capacity with stylish and edgy writing to give us a confrontational piece of addictive fiction."
Hamilton Spectator

"Nichol has served up a fast-paced yet nuanced story that explores the cost of war on those who fight it, and demonstrates that the postwar home front was not without its own terrors."
Sherbrooke Record

"...[an] unforgettable story."
Chronicle Herald

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 500,000 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.



McArthur & Company 2009
Wydawnictwo C&T Poland 2011

Death Spiral

A new novel by the bestselling author of Midnight Cab

This complex, multi-layered thriller opens with a glorious hero’s welcome for Wilf McLauchlin, a celebrated Canadian Spitfire fighter pilot who scored 12 “kills” during WWII and miraculously survived his own serious injuries.

Wilf, with a severe limp and only one functioning arm, is broken in body and confused in spirit. Temporarily perched at his father’s law office until he can resume his legal studies, he seems to be a magnet for dark and violent crimes that begin seeping from the small town in the war’s aftermath.

Wilf finds an elderly client dead and frozen in his bath, the victim of an apparent heart attack, revealed as murder. Another gruesome discovery is the bloody body of a transient whose arm has been hacked off. A woman is found gassed in her house, with her young son dead as collateral damage. The man who caused these last two deaths, a family friend of Wilf’s parents, shoots himself when Wilf confronts him.

Is Wilf the common motivating element in all these crimes, as he begins to fear? And what happened to him in Europe during the War? Wilf was shot down in Germany, near Buchenwald, and lost his sight for three months. There are several missing days, from the time of his crash to the time he was found by American soldiers. What happened in those intervening days? Do the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials that are absorbing his father offer insight?

Death Spiral is an engrossing thriller, a literary tour-de-force, and a meditation on the deforming nature of war for aggressors, heroes, and by-standers alike.

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

Short-listed for the 2010 Arthur Ellis Best Crime Novel Award