Christopher Graydon

Created by Emily St. John Mandel

Montreal private eye CHRISTOPHER GRAYDON is but one of the people caught up in the wreckage of Lilia Albert's mysterious and peripatetic life in the dark, swirling Last Night in Montreal (2009).

Eternally restless twenty-something Lilia roams from city to city, shucking relationships and identities along the way, haunted by her inability to remember her early childhood.

Meanwhile, the obsessive Graydon has been working her case for years (to the point of neglecting his own daughter), ever since Lilia first went missing at the age of seven from her rural home in Quebec's Eastern Townships, apparentlyy abducted by her father.

Graydon's client? Lilia's mother, of course.

Lilia's most recent lover, Eli, a Brooklyn grad student, is still trying to make sense out of her disappearance. One morning a month ago, she went out for the paper and never came back.

Then he receives a postcard from a woman named Michaela, who informs him that Lilia has been spotted in Canada, and he promptly heads north, on a journey that begins and ends in Montreal, but will also take him to New Mexico, Arizona and Rome along the way, immersed in a tangle of misconnections and misunderstandings, estranged children and parents, lost children and broken families, abduction and abuse, amnesia, madness and suicide, snow storms and tightrope walkers.

Michaela, it turns out, is Graydon's daughter, also twenty-something, and surprise, surprise, she has a few daddy issues of her own.

Last Night in Montreal is not a traditional detective story -- it's not even really structured like a mystery -- but it's one hell of an ambitious debut.



A listing of Montréal eyes.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith (original report, October 2000).

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