“The Dogs of Winter” by Ann Lambert – Book Review

Roméo Leduc – is a Detective Chief Inspector working for the Sûreté du Québec, who works out of an office in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec.  Roméo is a workaholic and has little to no personal life. He loves to read, and is a vegetarian who has recently given up smoking. Fifty-one years old, divorced, and the father of two adult children, Roméo is lonely.

Marie Russell – is a sixty-one year old author of nature books and a university professor. Since separating from her husband of over twenty years, Marie has no one to share her life. She is feeling guilt because she has had to put her mother in a nursing home. She has two grown children and a two-year old grandson who she adores.

Marie and Roméo are a strong couple, but are hesitant about making their relationship permanent due to their vastly different tastes and also their extended families.

Secondary characters:

Danielle Champagne – a successful businesswoman and motivational speaker.

Nia Fellows – a young homeless woman from a dysfunctional family who has recently aged out of the foster system.

Issac Blum – they call him the ‘Good Samaritan’ because he distributes hot tea and sandwiches to the homeless on a regular basis.

Set in a frigid and snow laden Montreal January, this novel evokes the place and season very well. The diversity of the city, both in ethnicity and socioeconomic status is well described.

The novel incorporates many social observations and cultural references within its pages. It incorporates themes of homelessness, crimes against Inuit women, global warming, the ‘me too‘ movement, racial profiling by police, and the inherent racial prejudice again indigenous peoples.

The two protagonists are personable and intelligent. It is fascinating to follow their personal relationship as well as their working life.

Though most people plan ahead for tomorrow, finding that their hopes and aspirations keep them going, it is not so with the homeless. They live entirely in the present, getting through each day is enough of a challenge without worrying about what tomorrow might bring.

After reading the first two novels, I can highly recommend this novel and this series to readers who enjoy socially relevant crime fiction. In my opinion, this author and this series are deserving of a much wider readership.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Second Story Press via NetGalley.         ISBN: 9781772601404 –  ASIN: B08J495XTB  –  328 pages


Two disturbing facts that I learned from reading this novel:

1.) 40% of all homeless persons in the city of Montreal are Inuit.

2.) Over 75% of Indigenous girls under eighteen have been sexually assaulted.

Ann Lambert has been writing and directing for the stage for thirty-five years. Several of her plays, including The Wall, Parallel Lines, Very Heaven, The Mary Project and Two Short Women have been performed in theatres in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. In the spring of 2019, she launched a new theater company called Ouest End in Montreal. Ann is also the vice-president of The Theresa Foundation. She has been a teacher of English literature at Dawson College for almost twenty-eight years in Montreal, Quebec, where she makes her home.

 

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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7 Responses to “The Dogs of Winter” by Ann Lambert – Book Review

  1. Carla says:

    Thanks for highlighting this series Lynne. I do enjoy finding good books written by Canadian authors or set in Canada. I checked and my library has them in all three formats, so I have put them on my hold for later list. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. indydriven says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful review. I have not heard of this series despite being Canadian and an avid reader. I agree that it probably isn’t highlighted enough. My library has the series so I have just placed a hold on the first book. I’m always on the lookout for a new series with good character development. Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pink Roses says:

    Another one for the list! I love books set in cold, snowy places.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joanne says:

    My daughter is (hopefully!) going to do her third Uni year abroad in Montreal from September. Maybe she should read of this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope that it is possible for your daughter to study in Montreal. The pandemic is changing plans left, right and center. I’d hate to put her off the city as it is fantastic – though the inherent social problems alluded to in this novel do indeed exist…

      Liked by 1 person

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