Posted on August 22 by admin
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This is supposed to be my last book review as an intern at Dundurn and reading 135 pages in a row of Unsolved True Canadian Cold Cases by Robert J. Hoshowsky isn’t the way I thought things would go down. Not the way I would have wanted to say goodbye.

Of course it’s outrageous to complain about lack of control and not saying goodbye properly by the time I scan the table of contents because each chapter is dedicated to a high profile unsolved Canadian murder victim who had no control over their last day and didn’t say goodbye properly.

Robert J. Hoshowsky is an investigative journalist who has been shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award because his writing, specifically, his ability to recreate the culture, the season, the weather, the political climate, even the market value rent around the time of unsolved crimes like Nicole Louise Morin and fifteen others, kept me up while past bedtime.

I was up late being nicer to my family, neighbours with young families on their way home from daycare and staying on the phone for longer than I normally would with close friends. I made a conscious effort to appreciate being alive and unharmed for all these years in Toronto with everyone living in my community.

There are 212 pages in this book. I stopped after reading about Sharin’ Morningstar Keenan. Yes I was disturbed by the sharing of our names, the difference in spelling, and the way she was found – in a garbage bag in Dennis Melvyn Howe’s refrigerator, initially mistaken for laundry until her hair spilled out of the opening at the top of the garbage bag. I stopped reading after that. After that, lives have never been the same of course for her family and, to me, most surprisingly, for her investigative officers who I thought were desensitized to this sort of thing or I’m guessing they wouldn’t investigate crime for a living. One killed himself by quite literally laying down to die on the stretch of tracks at Rosedale Station. The other, never wanting to be an investigative officer again, started up POINTTS, the successful Provincial Offences Information and Traffic Ticket Service. Makes you think about what you’re doing with your life, doesn’t it? It did for me, specifically, what I’ll want to do next after this internship is up. I want my experience here to mean something given everything I’ve learned. For this experience to not be for nothing. It will take me some time to finish this book. Readers, you’ll need to prepare yourself for Robert’s writing and research. The way he makes you hold your breath for paragraphs recreating horrific crime scenes, how everyone involved felt at the time, what they were wearing, you’ll be able to smell them.

It’s a disturbing gift, Robert has, his gift for detail. You’ll probably be a different person by the time you’re done. Here’s hoping you’ll only be a little tired from staying up late being nicer to the people you care about the most and thinking about how to make the most of your life.

And what is that, readers? How do you plan to make the most of your life? What will you do next?