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Fiction Literary


A Novel

by (author) Curtis LeBlanc

ECW Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2023
Literary, Small Town & Rural, Thrillers, Coming of Age
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

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A fast-paced literary thriller that peels back the layers of small-town police corruption, drugs, and teen disillusionment to expose unlikely heroes and unexpected villains

When two teens, Dallan and Hannah, attend the opening night of the infamous Sunsetter rodeo, they find themselves entangled in the suspicious deaths of their two closest loved ones. Driven by loss, rage, and their gut instincts for justice, they channel their grief and confusion into uncovering the criminal truth about their small town of Perron, a prairie community that has been long deserted by industry, leaving a ghostly emptiness of abandoned gravel pits, golf courses, and storefronts. They soon discover that Perron — with its population of bored and discontented youth, as well as police officers who are only looking out for themselves — is the ideal place for a mysterious and omnipresent drug trade to flourish. Soon enough, Dallan and Hannah are being tailed by Deputy Arnason, who has been tasked with protecting the reputation of the local police, even as his conscience screams in protest with every move he makes.

Equal parts crime novel and literary fiction, Sunsetter is an unflinching story about the opioid crisis, teen isolation, police brutality, and the fickleness of late-stage capitalism.

About the author

Curtis LeBlanc was shortlisted for the Walrus Poetry Prize in 2016, received the Readers’ Choice Award in Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest and was shortlisted for CV2’s Young Buck Poetry Prize. His writing has appeared in The Malahat ReviewEighteen BridgesPrairie and Frog Hollow Press’ The City Series: Edmonton Anthology. He’s Managing Editor of Rahila’s Ghost Press, co-host of Tonic Reading Series, Web Editor at Nineteen Questions and an occasional hockey columnist for NHL Numbers. He served as Executive Editor of Promotions at PRISM international in 2016-2017. His poetry chapbook Good for Nothing was published by Anstruther Press in 2017. LeBlanc lives in Vancouver, BC.

Curtis LeBlanc's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“The action moves slowly at first, but builds to an explosive conclusion. LeBlanc’s doomed young people put a human face on the horrendous impact of the drug crisis.” — Publishers Weekly

“Sunsetter is high-grade prairie noir suffused with literary atmosphere. LeBlanc writes with empathy and a poet’s precision.” — Sam Wiebe, award-winning author of Hell and Gone and Sunset and Jericho

“Suspenseful and narratively surprising, LeBlanc uses sharp prose to tell a story of friendship, revenge, and reclaiming agency amidst corruption and unjust systems. Sunsetter illustrates the violence, racism, and toxic masculinity found in rural prairie towns that have been developed by industry, as well as the beauty of the bonds between the people who have to survive there. Sunsetter paints the prairies in all its complex strokes, and with every twist and turn, we are reminded that courage often lives in the under-recognized.” — Jessica Johns, author of Bad Cree

Sunsetter is a blast of fast-paced literary fiction, tumbled up with some great characters and a searching generosity for all those left-behind towns and their left-behind people. I read this book so fast, the pages nearly couldn’t keep up.” — Michael Christie, author of Greenwood

“Vividly written in precise prose, Sunsetter’s menace and momentum comes from Curtis LeBlanc’s capacity to create memorable, real characters.” — Naben Ruthnum, author of Helpmeet and Find You in the Dark