Roméo Leduc – is a Detective Chief Inspector of homicide working for the Sûreté du Québec, who works out of an office in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec. Roméo is a workaholic who loves to read, loves classical music, is a vegetarian, and has recently given up smoking. In his early fifties, divorced, and the father of two adult children, Roméo has just married Marie Russell.
Marie Russell – is a sixty-one year old author of nature books and a university professor. She is feeling guilt because she has had to put her beloved mother in a nursing home. She has two grown children and a toddler grandson named Noah, who she adores.
Marie and Roméo are a strong couple, and have finally made their relationship permanent through marriage and the blending of their two families.
Most important secondary characters:
Nicole LaFramboise – Roméo’s second in command, is a Detective Sergeant for the Sûreté du Québec, and is also the single mother of a toddler son.
Magnus Sorensen – is a sixty-two year old Norwegian environmental activist of world-wide renown. He was Marie Russell’s first love.
Set in a sweltering summer in Quebec, this novel evokes the place and season very well.
The two protagonists, Roméo and Marie, are personable, intelligent and engaging. It is fascinating to follow their personal relationship as well as their working life. This is one of those series which should be read in order as the backstories of the main characters plays such an important role in the plots of the books.
Many environmental issues were raised between the pages of this novel. Sustainability; the devastating impact of clear cutting in forests – just one of the many factors contributing to global warming; the part that beef cattle and meat consumption play in the environmental emergency precipitated by climate change; and the dire effects of warming oceans and human’s use of plastics play upon sealife.
The novel incorporates many characters into its narrative. Some readers might find the myriad people hard to follow, especially if they hadn’t read the first two novels in this series.
After reading the first three novels, I can highly recommend this novel and this series to readers who enjoy socially relevant crime fiction. “Whale Fall” is a successful blend of police procedural and eco-thriller. 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 Edelweiss. ISBN: 9781772602685 – 344 pages
1.) There is a strong correlation between deforestation and disease outbreaks.
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.