I grew up in a Sydney, a town within Cape Breton Island on Canada’s east coast. Cape Breton is known for its breathtaking beauty, sprawling wilderness and rich culture. But I’ve also seen the other side. The youth population being forced to leave due to a struggling economy. Drug riddled communities with citizens forced to live on government handouts. I’m not singling out Sydney here – the same could be said for any town, and that’s why Cataract City works. It’s immensely relatable. It takes Niagara Falls, Ontario, a town containing one of nature’s seven wonders and instead of concentrating on its centrepiece, shines a light on the sometimes seedy life of a ‘townie’ – people who are stuck, people who can’t seem to get away.
Owen and Duncan are boyhood friends forever bound following a near-death experience. As they grew older, both embarked on different paths as Duncan would serve eight years in the Kingston Penitentiary following a botched cigarette smuggling mission for local crime kingpin Lemmy Drinkwater. Owen on the other hand, would serve under a badge, having to live with the guilt of being the one to catch and arrest Duncan.
Duncan doesn’t blame Owen however, as he knows the difference between right and wrong, and upon his release, he has but one goal – take down Drinkwater.
Davidson’s steady, flowing prose performs effortlessly with the intense, gritty nature of the story. There are certain scenes written with a style of beautiful brutality that I believe will stick with me for quite some time. While it’s not on the level of the madness he explores in his Nick Cutter novels, it’s certainly a hallmark that I’ve come to expect from his work.
Having read both The Troop and The Deep, Cataract City has cemented Davidson as an author I can see myself reading for years. Luckily for his readers, he’s a busy man with two books due out this year with hopefully many more on the horizon.