Created by Rosemary Aubert
Once ELLIS PORTAL sat on a bench, in judge's robes, dispensing justice. Now, after a stint in a mental institution and jail, he's living on the Toronto streets and looking for some. In his impressive debut, 19998's Free Reign, he discovers a severed hand buried in the small patch of land he cultivates, sporting a gold ring that the fallen judge recognizes from his past, and sets out with ''not a desire but a need, the need to right a wrong.''
The New York Times called Ellis "an unconventional sleuth, to be sure, but in Ms. Aubert's sensitive treatment, a character with great dignity and unusual moral depth. "
No, not a private eye, but an intriguing example of an "amateur with attitude" acting like one. And Ellis actually has experience in the criminal justice system. A sequel is scheduled for release in June of 1999.