KPU alumnus to publish Vancouver noir novel

Mon, Mar 17, 2014

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – “Sometimes raw, sometimes gritty, occasionally shocking” is how former KPU English instructor Cecilia Martell describes a KPU graduate’s Vancouver crime novel, slated for general release August 2014.

Sam Wiebe’s The Last of the Independents was unanimously awarded the Unhanged Arthur in 2012 – the Arthur Ellis award for best unpublished first novel in crime fiction. It was subsequently picked up by Dundurn Press, which publishes over 100 titles per year.

The Last of the Independents is an attempt to make the detective novel relevant,” explains Wiebe. “What else is a crime novel but a tragedy of honesty? And what could be more relevant to ‘right now’?”

The plot follows 29-year-old Michael Drayton, who runs a private Vancouver investigation agency that specializes in missing persons.

With a drug-addicted car thief as the only viable lead in the unsolved disappearance of a young boy, Drayton battles a crooked private eye, a disinterested justice system and a disreputable psychic as he searches for truth on the rainy streets of Vancouver.

“Sometimes raw, sometime gritty, occasionally shocking even repellent, the story and its characters are intelligently drawn and balanced with an understated, edgy humour. Ultimately, the relevance that Sam strives for lies in the humanity of his characters, who manage, despite their flaws, to convey a pathos that connects us to them. It’s an impressive debut,” says Martell, who was Wiebe’s instructor in two senior English classes.

The novel was also described as a “thoroughly satisfying read” by the Crime Writers of Canada, a national non-profit professional association for Canadian mystery and crime writers. The organization wrote that Wiebe’s book had an "opening that grabs you, [was] fast-moving and at times very funny with snappy dialogue, nice writing and intriguing plot.”

Wiebe graduated from KPU in 2008 with a bachelor of arts, double minor in English and history. For more information about the author, visit:

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