“… a compelling story of political power, love and hatred all rolled into a gritty, hard-hitting novel of the Nickel Range.” — David A. Patterson, Hard Rock Miner, Former President of Sudbury Steelworkers’ Local 6500
“If part of a writer’s task is to take us places where we would never go, Mick Lowe does so magnificently in The Raids… Lowe knows [his subject] intimately from his days as a fearless reporter: in The Raids, he transforms that knowledge into unforgettable fiction.” — Jack Todd, journalist (The Gazette) and author of The Taste of Metal and Sun Going Down
It’s spring, 1963 in the “Nickel Capital of the World.” Nineteen-year-old Jake McCool is about to undergo a rite of passage—his first shift underground in a hard rock mine. But the Cold War is at its height, and Jake is also about to become a reluctant participant in a bitter inter-union battle fuelled by the global struggle between two ideologies in the wake of the Second World War. So is his girlfriend, Jo Ann Winters. Together the couple will be swept up in a web of intrigue; at its centre is a terrible secret that will haunt their relationship for the rest of their lives, as their hometown becomes not only one of the world’s greatest hard rock mining centres, but also the epicenter of the Cold War in North America.
This fast-paced novel is set against the little-known historical backdrop of a true-life battle that included vicious beatings, full on riots and worse. Lowe posits a provocative premise: that the US government sponsored a ruthless covert operation to destabilize a strategic community in the heartland of its closest ally: Canada.
No one actually died during the Sudbury Steel raids—or, rather, no such murders were ever reported during this turbulent time. The reader will inevitably ask:
“Did this really happen?”
“This is a work of fiction,” says the author. “Besides, that’s the wrong question. The right one is ‘Could this actually have happened?’ And I reply, emphatically, ‘Yes!’”
“Well, lookie here!”
“What we got here, boys?”
“What we got here is what happens when a Commie fucks a bitch!”
“Yeah, that’s right! Youse get a pinko son-of-a-bitch!” (…)
Finally, one of his tormentors stepped forward, fists upraised. Henry Hoople. Jake recognized him from the Union Hall as one of the most vocal leaders of the anti-Mine Mill insurgency. An older man with a ponderous beer-gut that strained the zippered front of his miner’s overalls, Hoople advanced on Jake, who met him with leveled gaze. Hoople’s dark, hate-filled eyes struck him as being too close together. All in all, Jake thought, Hoople’s face reminded him of a pig.
A prolific journalist, writer and newspaper columnist, Mick Lowe is the author of the Canadian true crime classic Conspiracy of Brothers: A True Story of Bikers, Murder and the Law. Born and raised in Nebraska, Lowe immigrated to Canada in 1970. He moved to Sudbury, Ontario in 1974 where he became an avid student of that city’s turbulent labour history.
Cover painting, “Hardrock,” by Oryst Sawchuk; includes original illustrations by Oryst Sawchuk
Pub date: May 15, 2014 | Orders: IPG: 800-888-4741; F 312-337-5985 firstname.lastname@example.org
ISBN 9781771860123 pbk; 9781771860178 epub; 9781771860185
pdf; 9781771860192 mobi/kindle
300 pp | Price $19.95 | Illustrations by Oryst Sawchuk