Montgomery “Monty” Haaviko has done the crimes—robbery, assault, embezzlement, arson, smuggling, attempted murder—and has lived the criminal lifestyle, where nothing is permanent. Crime may look easy, but a career criminal can’t even follow a TV series. For Monty the endless danger and fear, along with a hard-to-kick drug habit, became too much. Now, all he wants to do is settle down in a quiet Winnipeg neighbourhood with his wife, his baby son, his dog, and his pet mouse, and try something new: an honest job and life as an ordinary decent citizen.
But going straight is hard, even for a guy who was an ordinary decent criminal. And it gets harder. When Monty ends up with three dead break-and-enter artists in his living room, he discovers there are those who won’t let him forget his past. Detective Sergeant Enzio Walsh knows all about Monty’s criminal history and thinks he’ll be the one to put Monty away for good. And then there’s Jean Robillard, a minor crime boss and uncle of one of the dead men on Monty’s floor. He’ll settle for nothing less than Monty’s body on a slab.
Fortunately for Monty, he doesn’t have to face his nemeses alone. His wife, Claire, at one time a hairbreadth from leaving him for good, is standing by him. And he has plenty of tricks, scams, and schemes he can use to clear his name and save his life.
[An Ordinary Decent Criminal] is funny, fast-paced and so hugely compelling it's hard to put down. Van Rooy has all the elements—a terrific protagonist, a twisting plot and a writing style that snaps along."
Winnipeg Free Press
Short-listed for the 2006 Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
Turnstone Press acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Government of Canada, and the Province of Manitoba through Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage.