The Whisper of Legends
An Inspector Green Mystery
Dundurn Press, April 2013
From the publisher—
When his teenage daughter goes missing on a summer wilderness canoe trip to the Nahanni River, Inspector Michael Green is forced into unfamiliar territory. Unable to mobilize the local RCMP, he enlists the help of his long-time friend, Staff Sergeant Brian Sullivan, to accompany him to the Northwest Territories to look for themselves.
Green is terrified. The park has 30,000 square kilometres of wilderness and 600 grizzlies. Even worse, Green soon discovers his daughter lied to him. The trip was organized not by a reputable tour company but by her new boyfriend, Scott, a graduate geology student. When clues about Scott’s past begin to drift in, Green, Sullivan, and two guides head into the wilderness. After the body of one of the group turns up at the bottom of a cliff, they begin to realize just what is at stake.
Mike Green is a force to be reckoned with on the streets of Ottawa but he’s truly out of his element when he goes in search of his daughter in the vast wilderness surrounding the Nahanni River. He finds himself in this situation when there are signs her small group may be in trouble and, being a cop and a dad, he can’t just sit home and wait for others to rescue them—if rescue is even needed. The man in charge of the local RCMP doesn’t think so and Inspector Green learns that his position in a fellow law enforcement agency carries little weight. Fortunately, not everyone feels the same way but will they be able to find Hannah before something terrible happens?
It has been many years since my camping and hiking days and I never did any serious whitewater canoeing but I know enough to understand the dangers faced by anyone trekking through such terrain. Add to that some questionable motives, the loner personalities that thrive in such surroundings and the inevitable results of greed run amok and you’ve got a thriller that will keep you up nights till it’s all over. I especially enjoyed the historical storyline that ties in with the modern-day quest for survival. I suspect the author may have stepped outside of her own comfort zone with The Whisper of Legends but her ability to tell a grand story and address issues of concern at the same time has not lessened since the first book of hers I read long ago.
Barbara Fradkin first came to my attention a number of years in the past, probably along about late 2000 or early 2001. A the time, I owned a genre bookstore and I was interested in bringing in some mysteries (and other genres) by Canadian authors because I knew our customers hadn’t really been exposed to many. Do or Die was my introduction to Ms. Fradkin and to Inspector Green. Both have stuck in my mind ever since but, truth is, I had drifted away and didn’t read anything else by her until now. As much as I loved having a bookstore, a big downside is that you just can’t devote the time you might have previously to keeping up with series because you have to read so many new books to “know the product”. In this case, I knew she was a terrific writer and my customers would enjoy the inspector so I didn’t have a real need to read more. We always brought in the next books and our customers did, indeed, love them.
Now, I’m delighted to have gotten back on the right track and, since it will be a while before the next title, I can indulge myself by starting at the beginning again. As the saying goes, “I can’t hardly wait”.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 2013.