4 out of 4 stars
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Winston Windflower has it all: Adorable mayor wife, the most beautiful newborn, a dog and the best job ever. Since he’s been serving as one of the RCMP officers in the Grand Bank area of Newfoundland, the area has hardly witnessed any major crimes. Now they’ve got not just one, but two murders. Add to that drug running, ghosts and a deserted house, and the RCMP have just had their work cut out for them. But one good thing is that the people know that the “Mounties,” as they’re fondly called, always get their man.
Darkest Before the Dawn is set in Canada, and each chapter is infused with a love for all things Canadian. Most of the events take place in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Mike Martin weaves a tale rich in culture, treating us to detailed scenes depicting local Canadian speech, a diverse community, indigenous folklore and religious customs. And when it comes to food, there are even a few interesting recipes thrown in for good measure.
Another selling point for me is that the author successfully analyzes and proffers solutions to a number of pressing social issues. One is Mental Health Awareness, especially in the adult male population. Men are traditionally raised to believe showing emotion is a sign of weakness. This book explores the connection between this emotional suppression in men and domestic abuse. The author describes the major characters’ lives on the home front in detail, making it clear just how much influence the atmosphere at home has on human personality and decisions.
And the characters in this tale? Realistic and relatable. Winston Windflower is the ideal police officer with strong ethics and a loving heart. Jacob Crowder is the stuff dark-minded techies are made of, complete with hermit lifestyle and pizza. Levi Parsons is the neighborhood broody teenager who always has his earbuds in, trying unsuccessfully to hide his depression. And Elizabeth Crowder is the ultimate money hungry lady, always ensuring she gets exactly what she wants no matter whose ox is gored. The secondary characters are also interesting. Quigley, Tizzard and the others all add life to this exciting tale.
Really, what’s not to love? Style, check. Grammar, check. Plot, check. Character development, double check. I rate Darkest Before the Dawn 4 out of 4 stars. If you enjoy good murder mysteries and thrillers, you should read this book.
Darkest Before the Dawn
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