Wednesday 31 August 2022

Whisper of the Seals by Roxanne Bouchard BLOG TOUR #WhisperoftheSeals @RBourchard72 @OrendaBooks @givemeawave #DetectiveMorales


There’s only one thing more deadly than the storm…

Fisheries officer Simone Lord is transferred to Quebec’s remote Magdalen Islands for the winter, and at the last minute ordered to go aboard a trawler braving a winter storm for the traditional grey seal hunt, while all of the other boats shelter onshore.

Detective Sergeant Joaquin Moralès is on a cross-country boat trip down the St Lawrence River, accompanied by Nadine Lauzon, a forensic psychologist working on the case of a savagely beaten teenager with Moralès’ old team in Montreal. 

When it becomes clear that Simone is in grave danger aboard the trawler, the two cases converge, with startling, terrifying consequences for everyone involved…

The award-winning author of The Coral Bride returns with an atmospheric, race-against-the-clock thriller set on the icy seas in the midst of a brutal seal hunt, where nothing is as it seems and absolutely no one can be trusted. 

Whisper of the Seals by Roxanne Bouchard was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 18 August 2022. This is the third in the Detective Moralès series and is translated by David Warriner. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour

It is an absolute delight to join Detective Joaquin Moralès once more, and whilst this is a story that stands on its own, it's my recommendation that any reader who hasn't yet discovered this series does go and read the first two in the series.

Roxanne Bouchard writes with a beauty and passion that is almost symphonic and once more the landscape of the Canadian Gaspé peninsular is brought to life through the exquisitely crafted words on the page. 

Moralès has taken a holiday, something of a relief from the past months that were covered in the previous book; The Coral Bride. However, he cannot help but get involved in a case that his ex colleagues are working on. Fisheries Officer Simone Lord has been tasked with attending a seal hunt, she's on a boat, accompanied by a crew of men who are very antagonist toward her. She's a woman, and the sense of misogyny is overwhelming. She's also there in an official capacity, and the men really do not want to be investigated. 

The words 'seal hunt' made my hairs stand on end, and it was with some trepidation that I approached the passages where the hunt is described. Yes, it is brutal, and yes it is challenging, but what this talented author does so well is to deal with the darkest of issues with a sensitivity that shines from the page. The seal hunt is there, but it's described in such a way that it adds so much depth to the story, and also goes some way to explaining how and why seals may have to be culled. 

There's such a feeling of tension running through this story, as the reader becomes aware of just how much danger Simone could be in, it's not only the seals that are the target for the crew on this boat.

Bouchard gently weaves together both Simone and Moralès parts of this story and her character building is astute and candid. The grief and loss that Moralès carries around with him pervade his entire story, yet he never loses his policing instinct, which leads to an urgent and almost desperate race to the end of the story. 

I am always overwhelmed by the magnificence of Bouchard's writing, so ably translated from the French by David Warriner. The reader feels as though they are there, deep in wild and desolate surroundings, feeling the fear and the tension as every page is turned. 

Poetic and elegant, yet also brutal and dark, this is crime fiction at its very best. 

Over ten years ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to
sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the 
Gaspé Peninsula. 
The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. 

Her fifth novel (first translated into English) We Were the Salt of the Sea was published in 2018 to
resounding critical acclaim, followed by The Coral Bride, which was a number-one
bestseller in Canada, shortlisted for the CWA Translation Dagger and won the Crime Writers of Canada's Crime Book of the Year Award. 

Whisper of the Seals is the third novel. 

She lives in Quebec with her partner, an undertaker.

Twitter @RBouchard72

No comments:

Post a Comment