Beneath the Surface by Mike Martin

Beneath the Surface

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Canadian Mountie Sgt. Winston Windflower is back to tackle human trafficking and sexual harassment and, for good measure, solve a couple of murders in Martin’s (The Body on the T, 2013, etc.) latest mystery.
After a temporary assignment in Marystown, Newfoundland, Sgt. Windflower returns to his job as head of the Grand Bank Royal Canadian Mounted Police Detachment. He’s intrigued by the murder of Amy Parsons, a champion rower who was strangled. But Windflower has his hands full. His boss, Inspector Arsenault, has him investigating human trafficking, an increasing problem in surrounding areas, and his girlfriend, Sheila, is back home from a stay in rehab after a terrible car accident. Windflower’s also having ominous dreams. He and his uncle Frank, both Cree, believe that dreams have meaning and that one in particular is a pointed warning. A second murder and the possibility that female officers are being sexually harassed only add to the sergeant’s escalating worries. The novel is undoubtedly a murder mystery; the killer(s) is unknown for the bulk of the story, and even Windflower’s dreams are, for the most part, treated as conundrums. But Martin loads his pages with competing subplots that stave off any lulls but sacrifice the more fascinating plot threads, such as the murders and the workplace harassment (Arsenault doesn’t believe the harassment is a genuine concern). Once a few of the myriad subplots connect, however, the novel starts to stick. Endless descriptions of food burden an already overstuffed story but do allow for some welcome light moments.
Following the multitude of subplots requires effort, but Martin’s lighthearted, entertaining novel never bores.
Pub Date: April 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1632631138
Page count: 456pp
Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc.
Program: Kirkus Indie
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