My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Beneath the Surface is the third book in the Sgt Windflower mystery series. The book is set in Newfoundland, Canada, and taught me so much about the area and the people. I found it fascinating and it had me grabbing my atlas to pinpoint St. Johns, Grand Bank and Marystown. Sgt Winston Windflower is a Canadian Mountie and the book opens with the body of Amy Parsons, a local rowing champion.
Windflower is returning to Grand Bank and Sheila his girlfriend, is coming home after a serious car accident. There are few police officers to police the vast area and thoughts of serious crime rarely reach this outpost. Houses are left unlocked and tourists are welcomed, the biggest threat is from speeding motorists and Moose on the roads. So when it looks like Amy Parsons was murdered and then a second body turns up, there is a need to step up the policing in the area.
There follows a slow and relaxed mystery involving Russian gangsters, Chinese immigrants and the seedy world of escort agencies, drugs and human trafficking. This is all mixed with interesting details about life in this part of Newfoundland. Windflower is a Cree Indian descendant and it was great to hear about his daily traditions and I liked his Uncle Frank who was a dream weaver.
Windflower works with other police departments and becomes under pressure with his senior officer. The clues are found and new evidence is revealed that will shock the police force. On top of this he has to deal with a local strike at the fish plant and is suffering from disturbing dreams of his own. Windflower is a respected officer, but finds himself in a difficult situation when he speaks his mind over a sexual harassment issue.
The mystery was good and the background setting of Newfoundland was very enjoyable. We join Windflower for many meals full of local and traditional delicacies. I also enjoyed learning about the indigenous people of the area and the every day lives of the people who currently live in this peaceful part of the world. There were small parts of the book that I felt were too much, and dragged the story on, for instance too many meals were described. There is also an over use of “He said/she said” during most conversations. If there are only two people in the dialogue the reader can easily follow the ping pong of replies without every “Said Windflower/ Sheila said” A few teaks and this book would be a good solid 4.5-5*’s.
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Mike will be joining us on th blog tomorrow as out guest author, do come back and find out more about him and his books.