Friday, April 11, 2014

Cold Mourning: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery by Brenda Chapman

Release Date: March 1, 2014
Publisher: Dundurn
Series: Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery, Book I

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Kala Stonechild accepted the new position within the specialized Ottawa crime unit because she needed a change of pace from her life up north. Besides being the new recruit, she was the only woman and aboriginal on the force, drawing snickers and hushed remarks along the way. Determined to prove her worth, she buckled down when the unit was handed a murder case involving one of the city's rich and more prominent businessmen.

Her boss, Jacques Rouleau has his own personal struggles that he pushed to the side in order to keep the unit running as long as he can. With Stonechild's help, the cases on their docket took an interesting turn and left them with more questions than answers. Will they be able to pinpoint the killer before it's too late?

I was granted permission to read a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for a honest, fair review. The book began with a terrifying image, a parent's worst nightmare. I thought for a moment that I was reading the wrong book, but forced myself to keep going. That preliminary chapter, though horrible, played a role later in the story and was actually a really interesting plot twist to the entire story.

As a reader, I rode along with Kala Stonechild as she made her transition from working in a small time police department in Northern Canada to the faster-paced, larger Ottawa police department. Not everyone in the unit is as welcoming as one would expect, but it became clear that their small unit was much like a family in many ways. I enjoyed how the author allowed us to peek into the characters' lives without dumping a lot of information on us all at once. I believe that helped me to empathize with a couple of the characters and the massively hard decisions they were forced to make.

There was plenty of action throughout the entire novel. From the first page, the pace was steady. Time was given to allow the reader to absorb all the details and small clues sprinkled throughout the pages, but there were so many possibilities. Even I had trouble trying to pinpoint exactly who I thought was the killer because there were always two people who fit at any one time - even after new details emerged! In the end I was only half right about the ending. Truthfully, it was a little refreshing not to have it all figured out by the middle of the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The many suspects, the layers of secrets and the other cases being investigated at the same time made for a quick, entertaining and engaging read. I'm glad to see that this is set as the first book of a possible series. I'd love to see what else Stonechild and Rouleau get themselves into. If you're looking for a book to keep you up late into the night as you try to weave through the webs of lies, deceits and betrayals of the rich, this is the book to help you along the way.

Cold Mourning: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery by Brenda Chapman is currently available at many online retailers in either paperback or Kindle formats. You can order a copy from Amazon by clicking the link provided below.
Cold Mourning: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery by Brenda Chapman

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