by J.C. Paulson
Published by J.C. Paulson
Review by Marlin Legare
$19.99 ISBN 9780995975644
Fire Lake by J.C. Paulson can be best described as a mystery novel that is unapologetically Canadian and is steeped in intrigue. This novel, published by Joanne Paulson, is the third of the Adam and Grace series that follows the experiences of reporter Grace Rampling and her husband Sgt. Adam Davis, an RCMP detective. In this entry, Grace and Adam decide to escape the stressors of their careers and Saskatoon city life by camping out for a couple’s getaway in Northern Saskatchewan. The destination that they find themselves at is the titular Fire Lake, a fictional setting based on real locations in Northern Saskatchewan that inspired Paulson.
At first, the time at the cabin is pure bliss for the couple. Not only do they find themselves indulging in the serene, natural beauty of their surroundings but also in each other. Paulson is not shy about describing adult experiences but does so with a certain grace (no pun intended) and subtlety that the love scenes read as an homage to the couple’s passion rather than something common. However, the creature comforts that the couple enjoy are short-lived as a mysterious attacker comes to assail them. Adam and Grace not only must stop this person from terrorizing them but also overcome a series of losses, adversity, and torn loyalties on their way to do so. I do not want to say much more about the plot in this review to avoid potential spoilers but will say that you will be treated to a riveting mystery story that perfectly teeters on the edge of mundane and surreal.
As someone who has only read this novel from the Adam and Grace series, I must say that Paulson does a fantastic job of allowing this novel to stand on its own. While it was obvious to me that there were significant events and familiar characters from previous entries in this series, I never felt as if I were lost without context. In fact, I would wager that if I had not known that this were a part of a series beforehand, I would have likely not noticed. If I were able to enjoy this novel as a newcomer to this series, I can only imagine that this spectacular mystery would be chock-full of treats for long-time fans. I can easily recommend this book to newcomers and fans of the mystery genre as a whole. Personally, I think this book would be best suited to be read on the deck of a cozy cabin, hot coffee in hand, overlooking a Northern Saskatchewan lake in the heart of summertime.
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