Tuesday, 12 May 2015

This is the fourth instalment in the series following the exploits of Sgt. Winston Windflower, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police working on the remote island of Newfoundland. The topography and climate of the location of the novel provide a key device within the narrative, allowing for a sense of isolation, a small community feel to policing and enough drifting snow to cover footprints at even the busiest of crime scenes.

A Twist of Fortune tells the story of drug smuggling gangs and multiple homicides, but the book isn't fixated on murder mystery and instead weaves the criminal investigation narrative around those of the decline of the local fishing industry and Windflower's personal life, relationships and his love of the local food and not so local scotch whisky. The story of the decline of a once thriving local industry is universal, one could draw parallels between Newfoundland fishing and UK mining towns, so a lack of local knowledge won't effect your enjoyment of this book. Indeed the bleak, snowy, daylight limited setting will be familiar to viewers of Sky Atlantic's recent flagship TV series Fortitude.

The action moves at a steady pace throughout and with relatively short chapters it's easy to get stuck in. My only criticism is the balance of criminal investigation with character development and sub-plots. It can feel a little mundane at times, as I'm sure police often work is, but a little less coffee and doughnuts and a little more drama and tension-building certainly wouldn't go amiss. A solid and absorbing read nonetheless.

7/10
   

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