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.
"Fast-paced, witty and full of terrific lore -- learn how to booby-trap your backyard! -- this is a distinctly edgy exercise in underdog revenge."
-- Houston Chronicle
"If you like your crime novels hard-boiled with plenty of wry, dark humor and unpredictable twists, you should read Van Rooy. You won’t be disappointed."
-- Caruso Noir
"Van Rooy is not merely a capable writer but a quite gifted one; he draws us into the story pretty much immediately and never really gives us an opportunity to turn away. Definitely a writer to watch."
-- Booklist Review
"Exceptionally readable entertainment."
-- The Kirkus Review
"An Ordinary Decent Criminal is a very clever, wry story of an unusual man. It's also a manual in how-to do many things criminal. (Don't try this at home!) I haven't heard such a compelling, unexpected voice since Josh Bazell's "Beat the Reaper." Van Rooy keeps the reader off balance; it is impossible to guess where he will take his story next. The author manages to craft a story that's always moving but that lauds the quiet moments in his protagonist's life. The story is often violent and tough, but has a graceful presence."
Read the full review here: http://mbtb-books.blogspot.com/2011/08/ordinary-decent-criminal-by-michael-van.html
"[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."
-- The Winnipeg Free Press
Michael Van Rooy (1968-2011) wrote for documentaries, magazines, newspapers and the Internet, and in 2009 won the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. His first book, An Ordinary Decent Criminal, won the 2006 Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book by a Manitoba Writer, was a finalist for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction and has been recently optioned by Big Mind Films to make a full-length feature film.
Michael released his third novel in the Monty Haaviko series, A Criminal to Remember, in the summer of 2010. Before settling on a writing career, Michael studied history at the University of Manitoba and was a restaurant manager, bartender, fishing guide, card dealer, news editor, cheesemaker, and federal prisoner. He used all this experience to inform his writing. Michael was born in Kamloops, BC, and grew up in Winnipeg, MB.