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The Extinction Club

Synopsis by Quercus UK

Blood spilled in the Laurentian forests of Quebec has left a stain, and it’s spreading. The mountain lion, red wine caribou, bald eagle, wolf and wolverine have already been wiped out, or nearly, and now hunters are turning their attention to the lucrative—and illegal—black bear market.

Enter Nile Nightingale, a troubled man on the run who arrives in search of a rustic refuge, an off-the-map place where life is quieter, slower. He thinks he’s found it in the form of a run-down country church for sale. Until, that is, he stumbles upon something in its snow-covered graveyard, something that shouldn’t be there: a bleeding burlap sack, bound with red Christmas ribbon.

Inside is the slashed and beaten body of fourteen-year-old Céleste Jonquères, whose testimony put the hunters’ leader, a man who’s killed more animals than a hundred winters, behind bars.

The Extinction Club is a powerful—and at times unbearably moving—portrayal of wildlife plunder and of those who dare to oppose it. It is also a darkly comic tale, in which the very urban Nile and the country-smart, near-genius Céleste teach each other about life and death, love and loss.

Synopsis by Penguin Canada

Nile Nightingale is on the run—from what he’s not exactly sure. For he suffers from a pharmaceutical backlog, after-sensations from the drugs and alcohol of his youth and anti-depressants of adulthood. Put simply, he sees things that aren’t there. Including extinct animals.

Enter fourteen-year-old Céleste Jonquères, a near-genius ‘spitfire’ who sees things all too clearly, things she wished she’d never seen. Including some atrocious acts of cruelty to animals in Quebec’s Laurentian forests. When Nile finds her bleeding body in a sack dumped in a half-frozen churchyard swamp, bound with red Christmas ribbon, he naturally tries to save her. After all, he did go to med school, and his father was a famous doctor… But what does he do about the local hunters who want her dead? And the images and voices he’s starting to see and hear inside his head?

The Extinction Club is a magic spell of a book—phantasmagoric, multilayered, full of singular characters, plot twists and neon dialogue. It is also a darkly comic tale, a compassionate ‘new noir’ in which a middle-aged American stamp collector and a teenaged Canadian brainiac share their views on life and death, love and loss.