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text 2017-09-22 04:47
Shallow End: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery - Brenda Chapman

Jane Thompson used to have it all….beauty, a handsome husband, 2 great kids & a rewarding teaching career. Now she lives alone in a tiny damp flat, sneaking out the back to dodge reporters on her way to work at the Salvation Army.

 

Her new “career” is courtesy of an early release program. Four years ago, Jane was charged with the sexual assault of one of her students. In short order, she was convicted, imprisoned & divorced. All she lives for now is a chance to see the kids but her ex is not exactly the forgiving type.

 

Over at the Kingston Police Department, the detectives are getting restless. Local criminals seem to have taken the summer off & things at the station are slow. Then the call comes in. The body of a teenage boy was found by the lake. Jacques Rouleau assigns the case to detectives Kala Stonechild & Paul Gunderson and they quickly determine 2 things. It’s definitely a homicide & the victim is Devon Eton, Jane’s former student & accuser.

 

I’ll leave it there for the investigation aspect of the story. There are plenty of twists (and a few bombshells) ahead & the less you know going in, the more you’ll enjoy each WTH moment. Suffice to say I was in danger of needing a neck brace after my double take in the final chapter.

 

What has always distinguished this series for me is the equal time devoted to the development of interesting & original characters. Kala is First Nations & it’s been a rocky road to where she is now. Due to her childhood she is a quiet, self contained woman who prefers the company of her dog Taiku to most people. A few years ago she met Jacques Rouleau (book #1) & he’s been her boss ever since.

 

Jacques is a kind, patient man moving toward the end of his career. Usually he keeps a sharp eye on his detectives but in this outing, his personal life has him distracted. On top of that, he has to figure out what to do about one of his detectives who is a slime ball (Woodhouse, you are so lucky you’re fictional or we’d be having words) while placating a superior who’s never met a camera he didn’t like.

 

Paul Gunderson is a big brawny cop with more than a professional interest in Kala. There’s just one eensy little problem….his estranged-wife-from-hell Fiona who also happens to be the coroner. And as much as I sympathize with him for the hoops she’s put him through, there are times I’d like to cuff some sense into him. He’s a man in desperate need of a V-8 moment.

 

The case is a gripping one with Jane as the obvious suspect. And it’s not helped by the cops having to deal with a bunch of teenagers who lie like they breathe. The author does a good job of examining the ripple effects when someone is convicted of such a hot button crime. In some ways the perpetrator gets to escape the fallout when they’re put away. But their family remains on the outside where they’re subjected to the whispers & sideway glances of friends & neighbours. Purely by association, they too serve a sentence & theirs may be life. 

 

It’s a twisty & thought provoking read that could stand alone but I really recommend starting with “Cold Mourning”. There’s a huge back story behind the characters, particularly between Kala & Jacques & each book is all the richer as the relationships develop.  Can’t wait for book #5.

 

        

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review 2017-08-26 19:33
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids - Meghan Daum,Meghan Daum,Meghan Daum

A little on the fence about this one. Some of the essays were fairly interesting, and the matter in general resonates with me anyway. However, I found the whole too similalr in terms of backgrounds (white, middle-class, not much variety here), and too often, when reading between the lines, most of the writers involved were of the 'I didn't have kids/didn't think about it when I had the chance, and now I'm glad of it'—not exactly 'I made a conscious decision not to have any children when I was 20' or 'I've always known I didn't want any.'

Although this may make me look shallow or callous, I don't care. I do relate much more to the few who openly made that very decision or at least 'knew'. I am the same kind of person who will start a relationship by immediately bringing the matter of 'just so that you know, I don't want kids and I won't change my mind'—because, let's face it, I'm nearing 40 and I'm not going to waste my time (nor my prospective partner's) with building a relationship based on the false assumption/delusion that 'they'll change their minds.' To quote Tim Kreider's essay in the book, 'people have a bottomless capacity to delude themselves that their partners will eventually change' (in other words: never assume they will).

So: interesting, but could've done with more diversity.
Hm. I should probably write an essay of my own about that someday. Never tried it, but it'd be an interesting exercise at the very least.

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review 2017-04-12 04:04
NetGalley Review: Shallow End
Shallow End: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery - Brenda Chapman

I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.

So I read the blurb and was like you know this book sounds right up my alley of reading, I need to give it a try. When I went onto Goodreads I noticed in the title it said book four and that concerned me as would I be missing out on things that I need to know? Well I can say the book can be read as a stand alone though it seems that some issues that some characters have going on, are in the previous books. With that said overall it was a good book.

Jane Thompson had been accused of being a child molester. Her whole life has gone down hill she has been in prison, her husband has divorced her and won't let her see her kids, and she no longer can be a teacher. Though the book doesn't say she had to register as an offender which I thought was weird, especially since she has kids. She really wants to just be with her kids and her husband isn't making it easy. He seems a bit of a controlling person and I felt we see why she ended up with him because of up bringing. I think it is really good for an author to write a bit of why a character acts or does something a certain way because of their past when it is needed.
When the kid she has been accused of molesting ends up dead the spotlight is back on her and the parents of the boy will stop at nothing to make sure she is behind bars again. Though it will be up to the detectives to solve the case while dealing with their own things going on in their personal lives. What they will uncover had me going oh wow this was a bit more deeper psychological than I thought it was going to be. I really liked the way the detectives just didn't go straight to blaming Jane Stonechild could really tell that something was up when she was interviewing witnesses. To me that is what makes a great detective.

There are things I didn't see coming when we got towards the end and I was very surprised with it all. Just by reading this it seems the author has an amazing way with pulling you in and having you guess why someone would kill another person.
If you enjoy cop thrillers and murders give this book a try.

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review 2017-04-01 18:32
These Shallow Graves - Jennifer Donnelly

♪♫My Pick For Book Theme Song♫♪

Just A Girl by No Doubt mixed with Firework by Katy Perry  --Inspired by real life reporter Nellie Bly, Jo Montfort is just a girl trying to shine her brightest in a male dominated world of reporting.

You just gotta ignite the light

And let it shine

Just own the night

Like the Fourth of July

 

 

 

Book Title:  These Shallow Graves

Author:  Jennifer Donnelly

Narration:  Kim Bubbs

Series:  Stand-Alone

Genre:  Mystery, Historical, YA

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Overall Rating:  4/5 Stars

(Grade=B)

My Thoughts

 

The Luxe Series meets Nancy Drew…well sort of anyway.  The time period is very similar to the Luxe Series, but with less talk of fashion and high society manners.  Although, it does drone on at times about the latter.  It could have done without some of that and maybe been a little less lengthy.  Overall, a engaging murder/mystery, despite my being correct all along about whodunit. I suggest Audio format, it really makes the slow parts easier to get through.

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  4.2/5

Characters:  3.8/5

The Feels:  3.8/5

Addictiveness:  3.8/5

Theme:  4/5

Flow:  4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4.5/5

Originality:  4/5

Book Cover:  4.5/5

Narration: 4.5/5

Ending:  4.5/5 Cliffhanger:  Nope, not at all

 

Will I read more from this Author? I would.

 

 

 

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review 2017-03-14 14:33
Shallow End
Shallow End: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery - Brenda Chapman

This novel was a huge disappointment for me. Perhaps it was because it was the fourth book in the series and I hadn’t read any of the previous novels leading up to this one so I wasn’t up-to-date with all the characters and their relationships but this novel was boring for me until the very end. With no clues to help the team after the initial case, they had nothing to focus on which lead them to reexam the same individuals over and over again, hoping that it would lead to something. I was introduced to members of the police department and the ghosts that lived there so I was finally getting to know the stories behind the individuals who were assigned to the case. Then, they finally got a break. Just what everyone including me had been waiting for on this case and things began moving rapidly on this case. It’s a crazy, twisted story in the end, one that had been well planned out.

 

My feelings on this novel is that there was nothing to entertain me with in the beginning besides the initial case. The ending was where everything occurred and in the middle, I was just waiting for something, anything to happen. I would like to start this series from the beginning in the future as I enjoyed the author’s writing but this novel by itself, I give it a 3.

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Dundurn in exchange for an honest review.

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