Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Review of Lunenburg by Keith Baker (2000, Headline)
Lunenberg is a police procedural set in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that follows the exploits of Detective Annie Welles as she tries to solve two murders that seem to have their roots in an another murder thirty years previously. Welles is an interesting character, playing the role of the downtrodden but feisty female cop who pursues her own investigations in the face of sexist sidelining. She’s joined by a number of nicely penned characters and Baker provides a reasonable sense of place for Halifax and Lunenberg. Where the book struggles, however, is with respect to the plot, which has both holes in it (such as why the witness held his silence for thirty years) and is driven forward by an endless succession of plot devices, especially contrived presences and absences and an abundance of coincidences. The result is a tale that simply doesn’t ring true and denouement that felt contrived and weak. Overall then, while the characters had potential, in my view the plot let the story down.