John McFetridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John McFetridge
Born (1959-11-16) November 16, 1959 (age 57)
Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada
Occupation Writer
Nationality Canadian
Genre fiction, screenplay, short story
Notable works Swap: A Mystery

John McFetridge (born November 16, 1959) is a Canadian writer and screenwriter specializing in crime fiction. He has published seven novels since 2002 and has written scripts for the Canadian TV crime drama The Bridge.

Personal life[edit]

McFetridge was born in Greenfield Park, Quebec and attended high schools in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario. He started Concordia University in Montreal in 1981 as a mature student in economics and graduated in 1990 with a major in English Literature and minors in History and Creative Writing.

In 2002, he completed the Prime Time TV Writing Program at the Canadian Film Centre. He now lives in Toronto with wife, Laurie Reid, and their two sons.

Writing style[edit]

McFetridge writes gritty, dialogue-intense crime novels set on the streets of Toronto. His books have been compared to Elmore Leonard's, with one critic, Linda Richards of January Magazine, noting that McFetridge's voice is "colder and starker" than Leonard's.[1] "McFetridge is one of a new breed of Canadian crime fictionists," she writes, "building neo noir that seems touched by both the humor and self-consciousness of life north of the 48th.[1] Quill & Quire reviewer Gary Butler agreed with the Leonard comparison, writing that “both writers seamlessly mix the police procedural with perp procedural to underscore the parallel lives of members of the opposing teams. But where Leonard tends to favour Hollywood-homicide banter, McFetridge keep the quips to a minimum, preferring punch to panache. As a result, the only time his prose gets purple is when fists are flying.” [2]

Writing method[edit]

In a 2008 interview, McFetridge said his approach to writing is not highly structured. "I don’t work out plots or outline or plan too far ahead," he said. "My books aren’t mysteries with a crime being solved, they’re about ongoing crimes. I work from character and theme. Very basic themes. Dirty Sweet is about opportunity – how is it that some people see opportunity everywhere and some people never see it? Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere is all about how did I end up here? I get characters I’m interested in and then I put them in situations I think are interesting and I see what they do. Then I see what they do next and around about page 250 I start to wonder, wow, how are they going to get out of this (or not get out of it)?[1]



  • Below the Line, co-authored with Scott Albert (2002, Signature Editions)
  • Dirty Sweet (2006, ECW Press)
  • Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (2008, ECW Press)
  • Swap (2009, ECW Press), published in the U.S. as Let It Ride
  • Tumblin' Dice (2012, ECW Press)
  • Black Rock (2014, ECW Press)
  • A Little More Free (2015, ECW Press)
  • One or the Other (2016, ECW Press)

Short stories[edit]

  • "Barbotte" (2010)
  • "East Coast" (2010)
  • "Grow House" (2010)


  • The Protector (1998)
  • The Shrew in the Park (2003)
  • The Bridge (TV, two episodes, "Painted Ladies" and "The Unguarded Moment", co-written with Dannis Koromilas) (2010)

Radio plays[edit]

  • Champions (1996)


  1. ^ a b c January Magazine (July 17, 2008)
  2. ^ Quill & Quire Magazine (March 2007)

External links[edit]