Author: Mike Martin
Published: June 2021 by Ottawa Press and Publishing
Category: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Cosy, Book Review
Welcome back to Sgt. Windflower Mysteries, where there’s always something good cooking and another seat at the table. 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.
In Safe Harbour we find Sgt. Winston Windflower and his family have left Grand Bank as Windflower takes on a temporary assignment in the often foggy port city of St John’s. Windflower was the new public outreach coordinator for the RCMP, while his wife, Sheila studied for her MBA.
Walking to work on his first morning, Windflower noticed signs on telephone poles about a missing girl, who turned out to be the daughter of a couple from Grand Bank. When more girls go missing the spectre of human trafficking raised very real concerns and Windflower was drawn into the investigation. It became apparent biker gangs and drugs were also involved and before too long things began to escalate.
“There’s more,” said Quigley. “We and the constabulary in town are working together on this. We think there’s a human trafficking ring operating in St John’s. That makes it a national issue and brings us in. I’m coming to St John’s to meet Detective Sergeant Langmead next week.”
“I remember Landmead. What do you want me to do?”
“There’s no way I can go back and forth to deal with this. I was wondering if you could be our point person on it. I know you’re busy with the public outreach stuff, but I can probably pull some strings to get you released for a day or two to help us out, if you agree that is.”
“I’m in,” said Windflower. He didn’t need any coaxing.”
It was taking Windflower time to adjust to his new surroundings and colleagues. He and his new boss didn’t get off to the best of starts and public outreach was a whole new ball game, particularly since he was required to complete an online course.
Character and story arcs continue to develop and, as the main protagonist, Windflower is well rounded and his beliefs stand him in good stead. The setting of St John’s is as well described as that of Grand Bank.
I enjoyed the investigative part of the story which, as always, deals with relevant issues and is well thought through. I find the character of Windflower very engaging. He’s a family man who honours and respects his Cree heritage, practicing the native customs he grew up with each day. The combination of the police investigation and the spiritualism of the Cree culture work well together and the latter grounds Windflower and gives him focus when needed.
The spirituality aspect and the significance of dreams is intriguing and the guidance provided by dreams helps in certain aspects of the case. In this instalment however, I felt the day to day domesticity was more drawn out than perhaps necessary, overshadowing the plot at times and slowing things down.
I chose to read and review Safe Harbour based on a digital copy of the book kindly supplied by the author.
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