by Mike Martin
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Pub Date 31 May 2021 | Archive Date 26 Jul 2021
"Safe Harbour is Book #10 in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series but can be read as a stand-alone.
In Safe Harbour, Sgt. Windflower is on a special assignment in St. John’s and adjusting to life in the big city. He is navigating traffic, a difficult boss at work and what seems like an epidemic of missing girls. He becomes more interested when he discovers that one of the girls is from Grand Bank. Then a girl approaches his RCMP van one night and he is pulled into the underlife of the capital city. But he still manages to enjoy all of the good things in life. His family, old and new friends, and the love of living so close to the Atlantic Ocean. Welcome back to Sgt. Windflower Mysteries."
Average rating from 19 members
Thank you to #netgalley, the publisher, and #MikeMartin for the opportunity to read and review the latest in the Sergeant Winfflower mysteries.
Number 10 already! This is a series that is showing it has some serious legs. Although I have to admit, I have not read ALL of the previous instalments; I read Number 1 and Number 9 (which I have previously reviewed) and now number 10. But this is not for a lack of trying or interest; number one is that - although Mr. Martin is a Canadian writer, the Toronto Public Library hasn't seen fit to purchase any of the books digitally, save for "The Walker On The Cape". But I digress.
Having recently moved to St. John's, Newfoundland to work in Community Outreach (i.e. Public Relations) for the RCMP, Winston Windflower, his wife Sheila and daughters Stella and Amelia Louise are settling in when he starts to notice "Missing" posters around the area: young girls are going missing from Newfoundland cities at an alarming rate.
This makes the Sergeant want to investigate and he quickly brings in various colleagues from other detachments - and we are plunged into a tale of human trafficking, drugs and gangs. And we see this from all perspectives, not just the police, as they race to rescue the young women who have been 'stolen' from their lives and are in grave danger.
One of the things that I most like about these books is that they're not all about the crimes and criminals and investigations - there's a lot about Winston's Indigenous heritage (dreams, smudging, etc) and his home life - they have one daughter of their own and are fostering another (who we met in the last book) with a view towards possible adoption; we also have a peek into Sheila Hillier (Windflower) and her life as a mature student.
I also like with way that the various forces interact and work together to bring perpetrators to justice. There's also a little history thrown into the mix, all of which combine to raise these books above the 'cozy mystery' genre.
I fully intend to read the other books in this series, as they are seriously good. They might not be full of high-intensity action, but they are well-written and well-researched. I certainly look forward to future Sgt. Windflower
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley. After reading and reviewing two previous Sgt. Windflower books, I got email from the author with an invitation to read Safe Harbour. Thank you Mike Martin and NetGalley for this opportunity.
In this book, Sgt. Windflower is assigned to St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. He is involved in the hunt for missing teenage girls and tracking down two rival motorcycle gangs who are central to the human trafficking across Canada. The RCMP is collaborating with other police agencies to solve the case.
The reader gets to know more about the personal life of Sgt. Windflower and his growing family. We also learn more about the beliefs and practices of the indigenous people of Canada. Police officers are humans with families and feelings. This is a pleasant change from many mysteries.
Thanks, again, to the author for giving me this opportunity.
Newfoundland, RCMP, Cree, cultural-heritage, trafficking, family, family-dynamics, friendship, law-enforcement, relationships, relocation, building-ice-rink-in-your-backyard, gangsters*****
I enjoy all of the principals in the Grand Banks detachment without exception! Windflower transfers to a special assignment in St. John's for the next year so that Shiela (wife) can attend classes in person to complete a degree she had to wait on for a time now. But then things get complicated in Newfoundland and his old friend/mentor/superior officer brings him in to work on an increasing problem of trafficking. And one of the girls is daughter of Grand Banks' fire chief! While things get dangerous on The Job there are new friends, adjusting to a new home, small daughters starting school/daycare, and the guidance of First Nations religious practices which guide Windflower and warn of a plague coming to change things (besides the plague of drugs and violence).
I am thankful that a brief history brief history of organized policing in Canada (the RCMP which is national, and the RNC which is the provincial) is part of this story. Of course I loved it!
Each of the Windflower books is fully capable of standing alone.
Readers from Milwaukee have a hard time with reading about bad motorcycle gangs (Harley is based here and the HOGs have a good bit of personal wealth to afford their machines).
I requested and received a free temporary copy from BooksGoSocial via NetGalley. Thank you also to the author!
This is book ten in the series and I fully intend to read the other books as they are seriously good. They are well-written and well-researched. I certainly look forward to future Sgt. Windflower books. A great book by a great author!
Author Mike Martin has done it again. What a treat to discover there is a new book in the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries series. I have been reading this series from the start and what joy they have brought this reader. I said that the previous book, A Perfect Storm, was the best yet, but I may have to amend that statement and say that this book, Safe Harbour, is the best. They just keep getting better.
Sgt. Windflower is on a special assignment in St. John’s, temporarily away from the familiarity of home in the (usually) quiet Newfoundland town of Grand Bank. Winston and his wife Sheila decided change was needed, trying out a new job for him, continuing education for her. Not really intended to be permanent, but this is the next step in their life journey together. They are settling into life in St. John’s, juggling parenting daughter Amelia Louise and foster daughter Stella with Sheila’s classes and Windflower’s new job, having a tough start with Amelia at daycare and Stella, who generally will not speak, at school.
He has doubts about how easy it will be for him to learn his new assignment given the mountain of computer classes and lectures he needs to complete, and his boss seems to resent having him there. And it doesn’t help that he is almost immediately he is pulled away from his new job to investigate the disappearance of several girls. It doesn’t seem like random runaways but something more ominously organized. Windflower is suddenly doubtful and torn; this is the work he has come to love – and to excel at. What if he doesn’t like his new job, or worse, isn’t any good at it? And what’s up with his boss? Why does she seem so angry with him?
As this series of books has grown, so has Winston Windflower. At the beginning he was very serious, a little regimented, comfortable with routine, and committed to his spiritual life and rituals. Surrounded by friends and family, but also a little apart, very self-contained. He is still all of these things, but he seems younger now than at the beginning of the series. He is still serious, but just as we saw a sometimes impatient Windflower in A Perfect Storm, in Safe Harbour we see his fun side escaping: he’s a dad who plays goofy games with his kids and sneaks them Pop Tarts when it’s his morning to be up with them early, he’s a husband who flirts with his wife and makes silly jokes. He is still serious, competent, reliable, dedicated, but we are now seeing more and more of the whole man. There is a lot for Windflower to adapt to in this new life in St. John’s and it’s sometimes funny watching him cope.
One of the things I most enjoy about the time I spend with Sgt. Windflower is that the books are structured so that everything revolves around him. Not as if he believes he is the center of the world and the most important element, but more like a day in the life of Winston Windflower. Everything is from his perspective: his family, his home, his work, his walks and runs, his peaceful sleeps and the dreams that give him messages he can’t always interpret. It is as if you are spending the day with him, feeling what he feels, liking what he likes, being irritated with what he doesn’t like, learning clues for his cases, enjoying life as he enjoys it.
As always the mystery part of the story is excellent, original, well planned and presented, suspenseful with enough hints and clues to try and outguess Windflower in solving the crime but not so obvious to spoil the fun getting to the satisfying conclusion.
Windflower’s spiritual life is always a fascinating part of the story. The smudging, prayers, dream visits from animals and people are at the core of who Windflower is. And let’s not forget the descriptions of Newfoundland – first Grand Banks and now St. John’s – that are so vivid you feel you are walking the shore, stuck in the traffic, experiencing first the small town and now the big city life.
Thanks once again to author Mike Martin and Ottawa Press and Publishing for providing an advance copy via NetGalley. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, recommend it without hesitation, and hope I won’t have to wait too long for my next adventure with Sgt. Winston Windflower. All opinions are my own.
Sergeant Winston Windflower and his family have moved to St. John’s in Newfoundland. His wife Sheila Hillier is returning to studies for a MBA. Windflower is taking up a new position with the regional RCMP as a public outreach officer. That isn’t going as smoothly as he’d hoped—there’s his rather disgruntled boss, and bikie gangs are once again in the mix. Windflower’s boss becomes rather agitated by his reaching across her lines of authority.
There’s a whole lot of meal preparation and wonderful parenting weaving in and out of the Winston and the RCMP’s growing concern around missing girls (mainly older teenagers). The subject of trafficking rears its ugly head.
I must admit that I was thinking the storyline paid too much attention to food and family routines, but that does play to the realisation that Windflower is an ordinary policeman tasked with the hurclean challenge of finding these very young women. His family and the day to day occurrences of their life help keep him centered.
On the other hand, we can say that Windflower is far from ordinary as a man. He pays attention to those things that will support him spiritually and mentally that helps him work in very difficult contexts. This includes his adherence to dream walking and smudging rituals, his practices inculcated from his elders and his culture that increase his wisdom. These help keep him centered, particularly important when he confronts tough working situations.
I love his homily on Gratefulness. A personal reflection for Windflower and a reminder to us. I always find much to ponder on in Windflower novels.
A BooksGoSocial ARC via NetGalley
(Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)
RCMP Sergeant Winston Windflower and his family have temporarily moved from their home in Grand Bank to the big city of St. John’s. Winston has accepted an assignment as a public affairs officer while his wife Sheila is studying at Memorial University. The couple has to juggle their busy work lives while caring for toddler Amelia Louise and foster daughter Stella.
But Windflower does not get much time to adjust to his new workplace when he is pulled away on assignment to investigate the disappearance of several teenage girls. When rival biker gangs seem to be responsible, Windflower has to coordinate his work with the provincial Newfoundland police force and his RCMP colleagues.
The book has a nice balance between detailing the investigation and Windflower's attempts to balance work with his busy personal life. The insights that Windflower gets from his dreams help point him in the right direction at key points in the investigation,
This was another enjoyable read in the Sgt. Windflower mystery series.
I received a digital ARC from Netgalley and Ottawa Press and Publishing with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
My thanks to NetGalley, publisher BooksGoSocial, and author Mike Martin for the electronic copy.
This is Book#10 in the Winston Windflower mysteries series - and I've read them all; they are a breath of fresh air within the genre of mysteries/thrillers, with a unique cast of characters, set in Newfoundland.
Winston Windflower, of Cree, First Nation heritage, is a Sergeant with the RCMP. Previously in charge of a detachment in the community of Grand Banks he's taken a one-year posting as the Public Outreach Coordinator in St John's. This is his first desk job and allows his wife Sheila to return to college to finish her degree. Along with their 2-yr old daughter Amelia Louise and foster daughter Stella aged 4, the family manage to juggle their new routines as Winston apprehensively approaches his new job.
Winston starts to notice posters appealing for information on a couple of missing teenage girls - one in particular is missing from Grand Banks. Making further enquiries he finds more girls have been reported missing. When his boss Inspector Ron Quigley asks him to take the lead on the investigation Winston's relationships with his new boss Staff Sgt. Morecombe and his replacement at Grand Banks, Lars Lundquist, become decidedly uncomfortable.
We are taken into the world of biker gangs, human trafficking and drugs as the investigation produces links to all three criminal activities. Things start to look dangerous as rival gangs position themselves, readying for a turf war - and Winston is in the thick of it.
The thing about this series is that, although each book's investigative focus for Winston can be really difficult and in some cases, harrowing, we are totally focussed on his day-to-day life; his strength and reasoning gained from communing with the spiritual world; his daily loving interactions with his family and the wisdom of his ancestors.
I worried a bit at the end of Book#9 when Winston agreed to move to St John's - I thought "No" - don't take him away from Grand Banks and all his relationships there - but needn't have worried, Mike Martin has masterfully managed to maintain all those relationships within this investigation - "Phew!"
Go on - take a break from gore and violence, read a mystery with some personal depth to it.
Windflower is a native descendent who practices the old ways and customs of his indigenous ancestors. He is also a vaunted inspector for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This author has developed a nurturing and loving family man. He is also one of the finest detectives in the crown’s investigative division.
He cooks, cleans, walks the family dog and is very supportive of his wife and two rambunctious daughters. Meanwhile there are missing girls from St. Johns and the suspicion is that they have been abducted into the sex trade circuit.
The missing young girls are the catalyst that sets Windflower on the case to find and eliminate this scourge on Canada’s young women. The case is full of false leads, wrong turns and frustration. Windflower is perfect for the job because of his belief that his ancestors will help him in the endeavor.
I particularly appreciated the spirituality of Windflowers’ character and his belief in the spirit world to help him solve the case. Other law enforcement divisions have learned to appreciate and rely upon his enlightened approach to solving cases.
This author heightened my awareness of both the problem of youth enslavement in the prostitution and drug trade business. The culprit can be a leading citizen of your town rather than some motorcycle gangbanger taking advantage of naïve youth.
The solution to the problem and steps Windflower took to solve the case were somewhat surprising and very satisfying. An inspiring story of family love and tragedy in the port city of St. Johns. I highly recommend this book to those who wish to understand teen prostitution and drug use and the reason they exist. 5 stars - CE Williams
Safe Harbour by Mike Martin is the 10th book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series. I have now read numbers 7-10 and found this up to my expectations of a light mystery with a heavy focus on family, friends and personal development of the main character.
In this book, Windflower has been temporarily transferred from his home police department in Grand Banks, Newfoundland to St. John's. He is not overly thrilled with his new desk job and public outreach position, but before long he's called upon to help out with a human trafficking case that gets him back in the thick of police work and connecting with old friends and colleagues from prior stories.
As always, his comfortable yet busy home life is where he finds refreshment and renewal. His native spiritual practices keep him grounded in the knowledge that he always has guidance, even when he feels unsure of himself.
Reading a Sgt. Windflower book is like a visit with old friends. It feels comfortable and comforting. Windflower is a gentle yet strong character that grows more mature with each story. Perhaps his life is a bit idealized, but it's an ideal I'd like to aspire to.
Windflower is back again in one of his toughest cases. Someone is enticing young girls into prostitution. As they start searching, they find that this is not an isolated case. Several young girls are missing.
BooksGoSocial and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you). It has been published and you can get a copy now.
Windflower is in a new position at another station. As he tries to find out who is doing this, he makes those around him mad. He can't just take off on his own and he needs to ask for permission from his supervisor. He's not used to that so there are some conflicts.
He's happy with his wife and his little girl. They have another girl they are fostering. Before the story is over, they intend to adopt her.
There are bikers, drugs and more in this area. It's a bad problem to to try to straighten out but Windflower doesn't back down.
These stories are never boring and the author keeps you on the edge of your seat with what happens. I enjoy this series.
The location/setting of this book is what drew me in, but the characters and story are what kept me reading. Sometimes just reading about a truly good human being is refreshing and inspiring! The issues that are prominent in this story are also prominent in our society, and one can only wish we had multiple officers like the main character available to us.
Well written mystery set in Newfoundland, Canada. Sergeant Windflower is a Cree, a member of the RCMP and a husband and father. All of these roles combine when the family move to St John for Windflower’s new job in community outreach. However he notices something that no one else did, there are a series of girls who went missing from the area. This leads Windflower to use his experience, his wits, his contacts in the RCMP and his Cree beliefs to find out what is really going on. It is an interesting mix of police work and Cree mysticism as Windflower gets advice and help from his ancestors, but it is all quite credible.
In addition to the case of the missing girls, Windflower’s home life is also a key part of the novel, it explores his day to day relationships with his supportive wife, little daughter and foster daughter who hardly speaks and seems to have trouble adjusting to her new situation.
My only (very minor) criticism is that the author spends a lot of time focusing on the preparation and description of the family meals, which detracts a little!
Thanks to Net Gallery for providing an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
I love this series as it's well written, engrossing and well researched.
An unusual setting, a complex and likeable main character and solid mysteries are the reasons I love it and this instalment didn't disappoint.
it's another entertaining and gripping novel that kept me reading and guessing.
The mystery is solid, full of twists and turns, and the characters are well developed.
I liked to learn something new about the lore and way of living of Newfoundland and the story always make wish I could visit.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
I was so happy to see another book in the Ladera by the Sea series. This book is Stevie's story and she has graduated college and back helping at the Ladera Inn. She is trying to decide if she should leave for Paris or New York City to start her Art career. She finds Mike on the beach, washed up by the waves with a gunshot wound. A great love story, a great reunion with our previous couples and a happy ending for everyone. Perfect light read for hot summer days.
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