Murmurs of the Dead is Al MacLachlan's new noir novel about the dark side of a small coastal community in the Strait of Georgia called Paradise Harbour.
The story follows some of the history from its days as a smuggling village through to today's rapid changes where developers are either ruining the rustic community, or creating a suburban paradise, depending on your viewpoint.
The plot revolves around old unsolved murders, loosely based on real murders in the late 1980s. The protagonists, the newspaper editor and a beautiful reporter, slowly unearth this idyllic town's dark secrets.
"With a narrative style reminiscent of Ken Kesey's Sometimes A Great Notion, MacLachlan imbues his wacky characters with a rich sense of social and environmental consciousness akin to the creations of John D. MacDonald."
Greg Potter, author (Backstage Vancouver, Hand Me Down World)
Journalist, documentary writer/director, author and music video director Al has written freelance articles for The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, The Georgia Straight and other publications. His video of Barney Bentall's Nothing To Do was nominated for a Caras award. He produced popular TV series such as The Art of Pop and Exposure, and he has produced and directed documentaries for Ducks Unlimited, ISE and other organizations.
Born in London, England, he has lived in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Vancouver, the Okanagan, and Gibsons. Al presently resides in North Vancouver where he is writing another novel, a non-fiction work, and protesting pipelines with tar sands bitumen at www.wildernesstravels.org.
In After the Funeral, a man wakes up with no memory of his own identity or past. Has there been a murder and is he, in fact, the murderer? A surrealistic noir thriller, the novel takes place in contemporary Vancouver –– or, perhaps, only in the mind of the protagonist. Al MacLachlan’s deeply internal tale, reminiscent of Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, plays brilliantly upon the illusion of reality as amnesiac Rory Jesson attempts to reconstruct the details of his recent life. In this gripping first novel, Al MacLachlan probes the paranoia that leads to insanity, when everything familiar suddenly becomes strange.
It is also a topical look at the global reach and media concentration of giant communications corporations. Al uses the filmic techniques he honed working in television and film, stir-fried with the influences of existentialist and absurdist French literature he read as a drop-in student travelling around universities in three countries.
"This is a very good first novel, with plenty of promise. MacLachlan can set action in a place...we have a writer to watch." Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail.