Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries, by Joylene Nowell Butler, Reviewed.


This book is a police procedure crime novel, with the bonus that it’s set in Canada and therefore reveals both cultural and procedural aspects that may be new to many readers. Certainly, aspects of this fascinating tale led me across entirely new ground.

The three main characters are intriguing in their complexity, and the fourth, who sits in the background as a constant reminder to one of the others, plays a subtle role in defining the nature, history and priorities of the lead detective. Racial tensions and unconscious prejudices bring to the fore the manner in which individuals often allow popular opinion to adversely affect their judgment in spite of the evidence before them.

This is a novel that is as complex in its plot as it is in its character development. Much is kept uncertain by the clever use of an unreliable narrator. The reader is led along false routes and into dead ends. Relationships develop over the course of the story as it examines the nature of friendship, marriage, parenthood and familial ties. There is illuminating insight into the concerns and nature of powerful politicians, which struck me as remarkably intuitive.

Although this is a crime novel, dealing with murder and some associated violence, the story itself does not dwell on that violence. Neither will you find swearing or sexual content, though these elements undoubtedly feature as naturally in the lives of the protagonists as in those of everyone else. These are real people, dealing with real issues, but the reader is left to imagine those aspects of their lives.

The settings are described in an evocative manner that has the reader shivering with cold at times, admiring or decrying the opulence at others, depending on personal taste.

I’m not normally a reader of the police procedural genre, but this book was offered to me as a review copy by the publisher. I was intrigued by the synopsis and decided to read it. I’m glad I did. I also feel I now know something about life in Canada, it’s concerns and society. Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries is a good novel and an engaging and intriguing story.

Released on 1st November 2016, you can pre-order by clicking this link.