A Green Place for Dying: A Meg Harris Mystery Paperback – Feb 18 2012
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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.(Publisher's Weekly)
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. (Reviewingtheevidence.com 2012-02-01)
A Green Place for Dying spins around an important theme. (The Nugget 2012-03-17)
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. (Cultural Foundation Native Expressions 2012-03-25)
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. (Waterloo Region Record 2012-03-31)
Harlick is drawing attention to the plight of native women, but doesn't let the message get in the way of the story. (Globeandmail.com 2012-04-18)
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. (Chronicle-Journal 2013-02-24)
About the Author
R.J. Harlick is a lover of the outdoors and can often be found roaming the forests or canoeing the waterways. Her fourth Meg Harris novel, Arctic Blue Death, was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel. She divides her time between her home in Ottawa and a log cabin in West Quebec.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I'm still up.
This is one seductive book. It opens on a moonlit scene by still waters, with a group of mostly native women doing a renewal ritual. Before I knew it I was thigh-deep in soggy brush looking for a missing teenager. Then confronting an angry biker. Now someone else is missing, someone even more dear to Meg.
'A Green Place for Dying' is set along the Ontario/Quebec border, partly in bush and partly in Ottawa. The bush town of Somerset and the neighboring Migiskan reserve are like the quaint, albeit murderous, village in the Louise Penny novels in that everyone knows everyone else's business, or thinks they do. But here the village store sells venison pie and other wild-based foods instead of the designer dainties of Three Pines' bakery, and the characters are more at home in jeans and deerskin jackets than in high-end sweaters. The story revolves around a touchy social issue: missing native women for whom the police don't bother searching. There's also a deeply unhappy local family with a black sheep brother and a missing daughter that Meg is helping to trace. An old secret in Meg's past is rising to haunt her just when she needs to keep a clear head.
Not noir, and definitely not a cozy despite the lack of on-page violence, this novel is a traditional, suspenseful mystery in a non-traditional setting. The bush is an integral element, its sights, sounds, scents, and textures underpinning crucial scenes and drawing the reader deep inside the tensions and joys of the half-French, half-Native, half-English community with its crisscrossing lines of culture, language, and authority. You don't need to have read the other books to really get this one; references to past events are understandable in their context. Highly recommended.
Many interesting characters and unexpected turns kept me turning the pages. Also felt like I learned a lot more about Canada and First Nation than I knew before.
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