#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2022
My day twenty-three #bookvent selection could so very easily have been my book of the year. It really was a close run thing. This author’s work is so beautiful, and her storytelling so evocative that there was no doubt this book would be very high in my rankings. I love the characters and the setting and the very traditional tone of her work. How could it not be. My penultimate selection is …
Whisper of the Seals by Roxanne Bouchard
trns by David Warriner
Detective Moralès becomes immersed in a chilling case set on the icy seas of Quebec’s remote Magdalen Islands, in the midst of a brutal seal hunt. A breathtaking, atmospheric, race-against-the-clock thriller…
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.
For fans of Louise Penny, Ann Cleeves, Emma Stonex and Annie Proulx
I love Roxane Bouchard’s writing, and love the way in which translator David Warriner has captured that very atmospheric tone and almost overwhelming sense of melancholy and inevitability that infuses this story from the very start. The Detective Morales series has captured my heart and imagination from the start, but there is something quite special about this latest story. There is an underlying tension, a sense of the darkness and emotion yet to come, and something about the whole story which keeps you on edge and yet completely absorbs you as a reader. There is a bitter taste to aspects of the story – a boat setting sail for the annual seal hunt – but it is not this, as sad as it may be, that really put me on edge. From the very beginning chapter there is a real feeling of jeopardy for one of the characters, and a kind of sixth sense that echoes through Morales, not allowing him to settle on his own pursuits. For good reason as it turns out. There is nothing gratuitous in the text, just that pulsating tension and emotion which I felt with every page turn. I love the characters in the book, from the determined Simone Lord, the well meaning but light-hearted Lefebvre, and, of course, Morales himself, each bringing something different and yet important to the story. And as for setting, the way in which Roxanne Bouchard recreates the essence of the Gaspé peninsula and the churn and turbulence of the sea is second to none. There is a stark beauty to the land and seascape she creates and it has made me determined to see it for myself one day.
For all of the melancholy there are moments of light, moments to make you smile as well as lament. There are no real big moments of violence in this book, no scenes of action that will send the pulse skyrocketing but it does not need it. The lyrical nature of the language and the soft, simple and yet highly emotional nature of the ending is the most jarring and heart-wrenching moment of all. It was one I won’t forget for a very long time, Simply stunning.
You can read my full review here.
Happy #bookvent reading all