Shadow of the Force, by Neville Johnston

In Johnston's most recent novel, the Shadow of the Force is a Crime Thriller set in Toronto, Bern, Florence, Rome, and Paris in the early 1980s. The dominant themes are crime, mystery, suspense, and courtroom drama.

When filthy rich Toronto lawyer Fred Bruni is found dead at his desk in his law office following a business trip to Bern, Florence, and Rome, the coroner's verdict is suicide. But his wife Isolde refuses to accept that Fred died by his own hard. With the stark realization that she knows 'zilch' about the nature and extent of Fred's law practice, she embarks on an investigation of her own, which takes her to Bern, Florence, and Paris. In Bern, she hires a private investigator, the great Fankhauser, to assist her in the hunt for Fred's murderer, which leads him on a dangerous and deadly mission into the heart of Rome.

What follows is a series of spine-chilling occurrences involving a malevolent international organization and a mysterious secret poison, which both have their roots in the renowned Medici family of Renaissance Italy. The intrigue heightens to fever pitch when the hunted becomes the hunter and the hunter the hunted, with violence and dead bodies strewn along the paths, in a world fraught with fear and terror.

About the Author

Having arrived in Canada from Jamaica in 1959 with $5, his clothes, and a few books, Neville Johnston graduated with a B.A. from University of Toronto in 1961 and then Osgoode Hall Law School in 1964.  For 53 years, he practiced law and was a partner in the Brockville-firm, Henderson Johnston Fournier.  In addition to being a Member of the Bar of Ontario, Johnston is also a Member of the Bar of New York.  He is the recipient of the Vanier Award (1973) as one of five Outstanding Young Persons of Canada, a distinction later shared by former Governor General Edward Schreyer (1975) and hockey great Wayne Gretzky (1982). Johnston, now retired and enjoying writing, self proclaims that he is a true "alchemist of words".  

Neville Johnston books can be found on, and (once in the site, do a search for Neville Johnston)

Front cover, Shadow of the Force, by Neville Johnston