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Andrée A. Michaud, trans. from the French by Donald Winkler. Biblioasis (Consortium, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $14.95 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-1-77196-109-7
Part coming of age story, part mystery, and part psychological thriller, Michaud’s tense 10th novel, which won a Canadian Governor-General’s Award when it was first published in 2014, recounts the story of a small lakeside summer community ravaged by the murder of two teenage girls in 1967. People in the community start to believe they are being tormented by the ghost of Pierre Landry, a trapper who lived in the woods around the lake and committed suicide 30 years before because he’d fallen in love with a woman who would not have him. The girls are found in his old traps. The community blames the girls for their own deaths: “It was thanks to their beauty and Maggie Harrison’s, and to that of all happy and desirable woman, that Pete Landry’s traps had emerged from the dark earth, and with them the violence of other men,” a leitmotif that recurs throughout the novel. The novel leans towards an investigation of the psychological effects of such events on both the community and the policemen investigating the case, an effort that is lost in the sometimes awkward translation. The book relies on stereotypical thriller tropes, ham-fisted foreshadowing, and obvious observations, but the final revelation still manages to surprise. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2017
Release date: 06/01/2017
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-77196-110-3
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