Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Lou Allin
Dundurn, June 2013
271 pages
ISBN: 1459706013

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The West Coast of Canada can be rugged and remote, as is the case of Vancouver Island where Corporal Holly Martin of the RCMP heads a small police detachment. Things are usually pretty quiet there and petty crimes are the main staple. However, one night, in a local camping site, a young woman is attacked and narrowly escapes with her life. When two other young women are found raped and murdered in the vicinity, Corp. Martin must investigate more serious crimes than those she is accustomed to. Unfortunately, her constable is sent away on a sexual assault charge and his replacement proves to be seriously lacking. She must adjust to the more demanding situation and act rapidly before the killer strikes again.

Allin is very good at creating interesting characters like Holly Martin, her eccentric university professor father, her Sikh constable Chipper Knox Singh, her receptionist and Ashley Packke, Chipper's awkward replacement. Each has distinct characteristics and backgrounds that eventually blend well together. Even Holly's mother, a First Nation woman who disappeared years before, casts her unseen presence. These characters are not mechanically described but have life and emotions breathed into them. The setting is stunning and you can really feel its beauty and remoteness. The plot is well done and sparks up towards the end.

My main cpmplaint, however, is an overabundance of information, digression and a tendency to preach. When they are pertinent to the plot, those elements are appreciated. Unfortunately, they often wander off and pull you out of the story, making for a rather bumpy read. You can feel the professor lurking behind the writer, eager to impart information on a variety of subjects: draft dodgers during the Vietnam war, changes in the law code, cutbacks in law enforcement, the RCMP's tainted reputation and the movement to get a British Columbia provincial police corps instead, various crimes of the past, feminism, multiculturalism, environment issues…. even salmon! I would have much preferred the author to stick to the story or at the very least limit her musings on other topics.

Despite my reservations, this is an interesting world to discover and explore.

§ Nicole Leclerc is a native Montrealer, avid reader, long time reviewer and moderator of the 4MA online discussion group.

Reviewed by Nicole Leclerc, October 2013

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]