R.J. Harlick’s love for Canada’s untamed wilds is the inspiration for the Meg Harris mystery series. The fourth in the series, Arctic Blue Death, was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel. R.J. Harlick divides her time between Ottawa and West Quebec.
A Green Place for Dying
Meg Harris’s friend has been missing for over two months, but she’s not the only one.
Meg Harris returns to her home in the West Quebec wilderness after a trip. Upon her arrival she discovers that a friend’s daughter has been missing from the Migiskan Reserve for more than two months. Meg vows to help find the missing girl and starts by confronting the police on their indifference to the disappearance. During her investigation, she discovers that more than one woman has gone missing. Fearing the worst, Meg delves deeper and confronts an underside of life she would rather not know existed. Can she save the girl and others with little help and in the face of grave danger?
This is the fifth book in the Meg Harris Mystery series. The next book in the series is Silver Totem of Shame.
Harlick underscores the serious problem of missing Native women while providing valuable insight into Native customs. Meg's continuing battle with alcoholism and her guilt over a childhood incident add emotional depth.
I found a lot to like about this book; solid writing, strong characterization, a tight plot and a wonderful sense of place. I will be adjusting my radar settings and looking forward to Harlick's next book.
A Green Place for Dying spins around an important theme.
R.J. Harlick has picked a tragically relevant focus for her latest Meg Harris crime novel -- the disappearances, far too often officially ignored and unexamined, of aboriginal women.
Harlick's intimate knowledge of Ontario and Quebec landscapes and her insights into modern First Nations people and cultures combine to make this book an endearing read.
Harlick is drawing attention to the plight of native women, but doesn't let the message get in the way of the story.
Harlick writes with just enough attention to detail to bring local scenery and events into vivid engagement. Her opening scene, in a moon flooded clearing in the bush, where women have gathered to seek guidance from one of their elders, with the sounds of soft drumming and the smell of cedar smoke for smudging, brought me right into the glade. The climax is equally vivid, with edge-of-your-seat tension, and several surprises that I did not see coming. [Robin Harlick] skillfully weaves murder, greed, traditional customs, bonding and betrayal into a gripping read.