Winnipeg Free Press, 13 November, 2005 A really good read Winnipeg writer Michael Van Rooy’s debut mystery novel, A Decent Ordinary Criminal, is fast-paced and hugely compelling. It’s A Mystery column by Lindor Reynolds, page B-7 Winnipegger’s debut mystery astonishing Winnipegger Michael Van Rooy’s debut mystery novel is astonishingly good. A Decent Ordinary Criminal (Ravenstone, 340 pages, $12.00) 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. Monty Haaviko, now known as Parker, is a career criminal trying to go straight. It would be a first for a man with almost as many aliases as he has convictions. But he’s kicked the drugs that nearly claimed him, married a good woman and had a son. It looks like Winnipeg may be a place to settle. That’s until three men break into his house and he kills them all. He’s hauled off to the Public Safety Building and beaten within an inch of his life. When he regains conciousness, he’s got a lawyer and the cops claim to have a confession. That’s just the beginning of his problems. Van Rooy neatly details the criminal underworld, filled with petty drug deealers, shady characters and the police who pursue them. Local readers will enjoy the occasional reference to Winnipeg landmarks but, more than that, they’ll enjoy the skill of the author. Here’s hoping Monty Haaviko will be part of a continuing series for Ravenstone, an imprint of Winnipeg-based Turnstone Press.