Don’t look for real bikers in this novel or any concordance with the real events that earned Montreal its nickname “Chicago of the North” in the mid-1990s. The author warns us from the cover page that his book is a very free interpretation of the biker war whose metropolis was the epicenter.

In 1996, when gangster Marc Hamel was released from prison after an aborted trial, bikers organized themselves to form strategic alliances and conquer new markets for the resale of drugs.

Owen Hayden is an investigator with the anti-gang squad of the SPCUM, the former name of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal; his brother, Tom, is number two in the Montreal branch of the Hells Angels. Two brothers, two destinies; they haven’t spoken to each other for decades.

While the Hells Angels seek to close in on the Sicilians and weaken the Rock Machine, including killing their leader, the Anti-Gang Squad teams up with the Anti-Mafia Squad to form a powerful strike force and intimidate the bikers, while multiplying raids on bars.

On the other hand, the love interest of Owen Hayden, the prosecutor responsible for setting up a new anti-gang law, becomes a target herself when the bikers blacklist her. This is the beginning of a war on several fronts, including between the SPCUM and the SQ, whose credibility is undermined by the suicide of a corrupt investigator.

All these events are skilfully intertwined in a fast-paced thriller. The author (who is the winner of several prizes for his detective novels) also succeeded in depicting the feeling of omnipotence that motorcyclists had at the time as well as the dissensions within the police forces themselves, in addition to add complex and interesting characters to the plot – starting with its hero, investigator Owen Hayden, who finds himself at a turning point in his life when everything starts to explode.

American Requiem may be only a brief chapter in a war that is far from over when we turn the last page, but the author knew how to use the fiery context of the time to build a thrilling and resolutely Montreal detective novel, whose many layers we will undeniably appreciate.