Undertow by R.M. Greenaway
BACKGROUND: This is the second in the B.C. Blues crime series set in the province of British Columbia. In the series opener, Cold Girl, constables Dion and Leith found themselves working together in the northern interior. In Undertow, they once again reunite, this time in the City of North Vancouver. For Dion, North Vancouver is a challenging comeback, and for Leith, it's a whole new experience. Both find super sized stress in the busy streets, interwoven murder investigations to solve, and the omnipresent push and pull of the Pacific on their psyches.
The scene: A haunting murder that seems without motive.
A young electrician is beaten up. His wife and baby girl are being tracked down too. Why?
More twists and turns dominate the plot line.
Who battered and asphyxiated a wealthy nightclub owner in his own garage?
As crime series' go, this one combines all the ingredients to keep you fixated. It's no wonder the writing is dead on, after all, R.M. Greenaway worked in probation and travelled British Columbia as a court reporter. In this novel, the characterization is well fleshed out. Two protagonists who are different by their core, have a friction that is necessary to move forward the plot line in any piece of writing. But with enough complementary respect underlying the differences, the odd couple can work together to help solve a crime.
This formidable investigative team does not follow the template of the glamorous and provocative detective teams we've become accustomed to in over-the-top TV dramas. Both Dion and Leith, are ordinary folk, each coming into the assignment with their own reservations and biases. Dion's cognitive abilities have been compromised by an earlier injury, and his ability to reason and plough through the facts appear slow and haphazard. But, he has a job to do, and he gets it done in the best way he can, navigating his cognitive maze to figure out the outcome of the case. Dave Leith is a hard nosed, no nonsense police officer, who has little patience for touchy feely behaviour, and memory games.
Right from the start, the novel captivates the reader with the double homicide. The slow calculated read (if you are a fan of this style of writing), is a strength of author R.M. Greenaway.