Darkest Before The Dawn
by Mike Martin
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Pub Date 01 Oct 2018 | Archive Date 07 Dec 2018
Darkest Before The Dawn is the latest adventure in the Sgt. Winston Windflower mystery series, the popular Maritime tales about a Mountie who finds himself with a new family and a new life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland.
Ghosts, mysterious deaths, and a new, perplexing character confront Windflower, Tizzard and the other police officers in Grand Bank as they unearth secrets that have been lying hidden in the sleepy hamlet for decades.
A fast-moving mystery, Darkest Before The Dawn is also a story of love, loss and learning how to grow old gracefully; a tale of family, community and looking after each other, of not giving up hope . . . just before the dawn.
Average rating from 15 members
It was just such a pleasure to read this book; pleasant, like taking a leisurely holiday away from my usual detective thrillers, intriguing, well-written and relaxing. I finished this book with the sense that the mystery storyline was actually secondary to the story of Sgt. Windflower, his family, friends and colleagues, and the intertwining of their lives in a small Newfoundland community - punctuated by the odd murder or two. Winston Windflower leads an idyllic life with his wife and baby and, not having been acquainted with the author's writing before, I felt I was just waiting for something really nasty to disturb the extremely happy scene. In the event though, the pleasantness continued throughout for them; not so for the victims of the mystery surrounding their demise in this small community. The mystery storyline was smoothly woven through, intriguing and keeping the reader guessing; well thought-out but perhaps not entirely resolved. However, it really didn't matter.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me this opportunity. I will indeed seek out previous titles by this author.
This is the latest book in a series about First Nation RCMP Sergeant Winston Windflower posted to Grand Bank, NL, but the first one I've read. Obviously, I've missed quite a lot of backstory but overall I had no trouble figuring out who was who and how they were connected to one another.
This time, Sgt Windflower is looking into the mysteries of the Dark Web, which is connected to a couple of murders in the otherwise peaceful town. He and his wife are also preparing for the opening of their B&B, so there is some progress in that area, in that they are going to open the restaurant first so that Winston can use his love of cooking on a more regular basis. The sergeant has been in Grand Bank for almost a decade so is, more or less, a local now and knows his way around comfortably. He is even trying to sound more local by using the occasional, quirky Newfoundland phrase. I don't know anything about the author or if he's a Newfoundlander, but being a Canadian myself, I could certainly hear the Newfoundland in some of the characters. It was captured well - I'm not sure there's any Canadian who wouldn't be able to distinguish a Newfoundlander's distinctive speech!
The RCMP detachment, like so many scattered across Canada, is quite small and the officers are adept at multi-tasking, taking on whatever job needs doing as and when necessary. Sgt Windflower is also a dream weaver, taking note of the symbolism and images in his dreams as a precursor to his external life. He also maintains his morning ritual of sage and prayer. I did find the sharing of a dream and the change in the sharer overnight a bit convenient, but I don't know the ways of these sorts of things.
The book was an easy read and the mystery well done, although it was on the leisurely side. Sgt Windflower leads an idyllic life so there’s not much excitement. His wife Sharon is the mayor of Grand Bank and is on maternity leave from her position to care for their new daughter Amelia Louise. She’s happy, the baby is happy (and seems to always be sleeping), Winston is happy, the dog is happy, the cat is happy…The lack of drama leads to a lack of suspense and ‘grit’ that makes a mystery gripping. Also, Sgt Windflower’s predilection for quoting Shakespeare and having ‘quote offs’ with a superior officer is the third I’ve read this year, so I wasn’t overly keen on that. That could just be my luck with books, though.
However, all that said, I enjoyed it and my visit home (although I’m an Ontarian, not a Newfoundlander). It was a very pleasant way to spend a few hours and I’d be happy to start at the beginning to see where Sgt Windflower began and how he ended up in Grand Bank.
This new-to-me series features Cree Indian Sgt. Winston Windflower of the RCMP. He mans an office in tiny Grand Bank. Windflower is getting used to his new life with wife Sheila Hillier (the town's mayor) and new baby Amelia Louise. Windflower has also brought along his collie, Lady.
Windflower becomes embroiled in a number of recent break-ins and now the murder of a loner, who appears to be deeply involved in the dark web, including identity theft and crypto-currency. The investigation shortly finds another victim apparently tied to the earlier stabbing death of the secretive loner. In addition, he is confronting the statistics of mounting suicide among teenagers and middle-aged men.
Sgt. Windflower is surrounded by well-developed secondary characters such as Tizzard, Dr. Sanjay, and Betsy, his administrative assistant, who reminded me very much of Ruby of the Longmire TV series. He and his wife are in the process of opening a B&B.
The area around the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland is richly described, the small town setting picturesque. Windflower was probably well fleshed previously. This installment functions fine as a standalone as you get enough of the protagonist to get who he is now, but reading more of the series would definitely fill in missing back story. The dialogue flows naturally, but included some local colloquialisms.
It's a cozy mystery, slow to percolate. The narrative moved at a halting pace and a few plot points were repeated. The antagonist element is obvious. The sub-plot, that of suicide, is covered sensitively and the dark net explained adequately. The conclusion arrived quietly, except for one surprise you didn't expect of the antagonist. Encountered were obvious edit misses (i.e., flower for flour). While there were elements that pushed enough interest to continue to conclusion, it was low key.
I received this download from the publisher and NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for those who enjoy small town locales, cozies, and family oriented mysteries. 3.5/5 stars
Sergeant Winston Windflower of the RCMP is enjoying several changes in his personal life with wife Sheila Hillier. They have a newborn daughter Amelia Louise, and are planning to open a B&B in a few weeks. Crime seems on the upswing in the tiny town of Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There is a series of recent break-ins and then loner Jacob Crowder is found stabbed to death in his home. The investigation soon reveals that Crowder was not the computer tech guy he claimed. He had a long criminal history and was involved in a complex scheme involving identity theft and crypto-currency. Then another man is found shot dead in his van and it is found that he had ties to Crowder. Jacob's elegant mother Eiizabeth arrives in town from Ontario but she is not a bereaved mother. Instead, she demands access to Jacob's house and eventually breaks in to conduct a frantic search. What is Elizabeth looking for?
It was nice to learn more about WIndflower's personal life and routine with his family. This was an enjoyable quick read and a satisfying entry in the Sgt. Windflower mystery series.
I received an eARC via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
This sleepy town will never be the same. Winston Windflower is a RCMP sergeant who has everything that a man could want. A loving wife & a beautiful baby daughter. But crime has come to his town and he knows that he will need outside help. A young boy tries to kill himself and there is no one that can help him cope with his depression so everyone is hoping that the mayor can get them the help that they need. Windflower knows that it will get sorted as his wife Sheila is the mayor. A body has been discovered by accident and it is murder but who would have wanted to kill him? No one knew too much about the murdered man as he kept to himself. Before the case can go further another body is found and they are related but Windflower needs to put the pieces together. He has so much going on at the moment, luckily he has a good team that helps him sort through all the evidence. A simple murder becomes a bigger case that will involve many of players and hopefully someone will be held accountable. Can Windflower solve these crimes so that the townsfolk can feel safe again? A really good read. Windflower is quite a man. A loving husband, a father, a leader and someone who would have your back. He makes everyone feel comfortable and they all seem to respect him. Sheila is definitely the right woman for him she keeps him grounded as he tries to take on too much. All the characters really add to the story and it is interesting to see how they all fit in the town. So glad that mental health was brought up as in small towns there isn't always help available. I was lucky enough to receive a copy via Netgalley and the publishing house in exchange for my honest review.
What a lovely read, it was like taking a leisurely stroll in a beautiful location. A cosy mystery that unwinds slowly but never bores you, the characterisation is fabulous and I soon gained a real affection for Windflower and his friends and family.
The story doesn't tax you but sometimes that is what you need from a book, reading it was like snuggling into a warm snuggly bed.
A great mystery. I enjoyed the plot, setting and the author's writing. I look forward to reading more books in this series. Thanks to Netgalley for my eARC. This is my unbiased review.
Sgt. Windflower is happily married, they have a new baby and he has his collie. All is good in his personal world. So why can't his work life settle down?
BooksGoSocial and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you). It has been published and you can grab a copy now.
There's not much crime in the town he lives in and he likes it that way. Then they find a dead body. As if that weren't bad enough, another dead body shows up. They have no clue why these people were killed and they are relative strangers to the town folk. As they dig through the clues, look up backgrounds and search for answers, they find out the first body they found was a druggie who ran scams. That gives them a reason for why but not a who did it.
They keep digging and they get closer to the answer all the time. When they find a man who will talk for a deal, they know they have a case. But they just think they do...
The crimes aren't very pleasant but Windflower's home life with family and animals is quite enjoyable. This was a good read. I'd enjoy reading more in this series.
Sgt. Winston Windflower seems to have the perfect life. A loving wife, a beautiful new baby, a loyal dog and a new side bed and breakfast business. His small town doesn’t see too much crime but then they find the body......and the other body. He and his police force investigate and it takes them on an journey that leads them to international crime and drugs. A side story reveals the lack of mental health professionals available in small towns.
This book is part of a series but can stand alone. I appreciated the real life issues that come up and the fact that not every story has a clear ending making it realistic to me. It’s an easy read and good story. I would definitely read the whole series. Sgt. Windflower is a character that will stick with me.
Thanks to NetGalley, Author Mike Martin and BooksGoSocial for the free electronic ARC of this book.
This is a new series for me and I can't believe how I missed the first 6 books in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series. Book 7 has the Canadian Mountie happily married to Sheila and enjoying new baby Amelia at his post in Grand Banks, Newfoundland. It's unusual for crime but there have been 7 break-ins and now there has been a murder. As a Cree Indian he embraces the old ways to communicate with nature and uses this in his police work. This book is easily a stand alone read but I'm already looking for book 1-6 to get the backstory for this wonderful series. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review
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