Today is my stop on the blog tour for We Were The Salt Of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard! Translated by David Warriner, this is the first of Bouchard’s novels to be published in English. And as soon as I heard it was a mystery set in a remote fishing village in Quebec, I couldn’t wait to read it!
In this story we meet Catherine Day, a woman from Montreal who causes something of a stir when she arrives in the Gaspe Peninsula, to an isolated fishing village. Catherine is searching for clues about her past, and asking around after her birth mother. But Catherine’s arrival isn’t the only thing that causes a stir, and events become far more complex when a woman’s body is found amongst the fishermen’s nets. And the body happens to be that of Marie Garant, an extraordinary woman who is well known within the community both for her beauty and her skills as a sailor. So needless to say, her death is one that has an impact. From the start this was a premise that intrigued me, and there were already questions raised about Marie’s death, as well as the mystery surrounding Catherine’s origins. As the novel progresses we begin to uncover the truth alongside Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, who finds himself thrown into the investigation, and begins searching for answers.
One of the things that I was most looking forward to about this book was the fishing village setting, and this small community atmosphere is vividly portrayed and I enjoyed the sense of foreboding and isolation throughout. I found this story to be wonderfully written, both in terms of the plot and the way the writing effectively captures the environment in all its harsh beauty, and the power of the sea. And down at the fishermen’s wharves there are many stories, and gossip to be told, and I enjoyed discovering the different characters and starting to piece together the clues surrounding this mystery. The characters themselves are well developed with distinctive voices, all with their own fascinating stories to tell. This was a book that had me gripped, as we uncover the characters histories, and unearth past secrets and lies, all with the sea as a backdrop – a sea which holds a power over the village, something which provides a livelihood, but also holds memories of a murky past.
I really enjoyed We Were The Salt Of The Sea, an intriguing and lyrical crime mystery which unfolds in a wonderful setting. I was excited to see that this is the first in a series featuring DS Joaquin Morales, so I will be interested to read more of Roxanne Bouchard’s work! We Were The Salt Of The Sea is to be published in paperback on 30th March by Orenda Books. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for providing a copy for review.
This review was written as part of the We Were The Salt Of The Sea blog tour. You can check out the other stops on the tour on the dates and blogs below!