• Winner of the Northern Lit Award from the Ontario Library Service

  • Nominated for an Arthur Ellis award by the Crime Writers of Canada

A twist on the classic road trip story, The Line Painter explores how the past, fear, and memory alter perception

It’s 1:08 a.m. when Carrie’s car breaks down on the highway somewhere north of Lake Superior. It’s dark, the road is quiet, her cell phone is down, and she is alone. She took off from Toronto that morning, running from grief over the death of her boyfriend, and unable to cope with the truth about the events that led to it. The relief Carrie feels as a truck pulls up soon turns to fear after its driver offers her a lift. Frank, her would-be rescuer, is a line painter, putting lines on the road “to stop people from being killed.” But after Carrie gets in the truck, she starts to realize that this will be the road trip of her life—a trip of terror, transformation and forgiveness.

Claire Cameron has created a unique portrait of Carrie, a young woman whose actions are driven by grief and shame, her personality a beguiling combination of naïveté and streetsmarts. Frank is equally sharply drawn, his flashes of humour and tenderness disguising the wreckage within. Written in spare, unvarnished prose that brims with menace against the forbidding backdrop of a northern landscape, The Line Painter takes us on a riveting trip down a twisted road of memory and redemption.


“…a masterful balancing act of suspense and relief, a dance between expectation and surprise…It’s a bravura performance.”
The Globe & Mail

“Where Cameron truly excels is in creating a mood—the text is efficient and not unnecessarily descriptive, yet the setting and characters are crystal-clear.”
The Torontoist

“Suspenseful, evocative and well-paced, this road trip story of guilt and love offers glimpses into tragically human characters who inhabit the margins of redemption.”
— Ibi Kaslik, author of Skinny and The Angel Riots

“An old B-movie premise—Car Breaks Down in the Middle of Nowhere—is given a fresh, distinctly Canadian twist in this wicked little first novel. The Line Painter fires along on its lean language and propulsive suspense, the kind of story you could swallow whole once you’re past the first page. I certainly did.”
— Andrew Pyper, author of Lost Girls and The Killing Circle

Selected Press

A dark night, a breakdown, a stranger: Review in The Globe & Mail

Getting in trucks with strangers: Review in The Torontoist Interview with Susan Henderson

First-time novelist Claire Cameron discusses her book "The Line Painter."