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Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.
The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home.
Darkest Before The Dawn is the latest adventure in the Sgt. Winston Windflower mystery series, the popular Maritime tales about a Mountie who finds himself with a new family and a new life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland. Ghosts, mysterious deaths, and a new, perplexing character confront Windflower, Tizzard and the other police officers in Grand Bank as they unearth secrets that have been lying hidden in the sleepy hamlet for decades. A fast-moving mystery, Darkest Before The Dawn is also a story of love, loss and learning how to grow old gracefully; a tale of family, community and looking after each other, of not giving up hope, just before the dawn.
Capturing the nuances of small-town Canadian life against a background of murder and mystery Sgt. Windflower is back and it’s his most challenging case to date. Compelled by his sense of duty and love of Gand Bank Sgt. Windflower is a sensitive soul who likes to fill in the blanks until hidden meaning is evident. Not only from a police procedural perspective but in his private life as well. And as with previous novels in the series Martin strikes an equitable balance between the two. Never patronising or explaining but rather telling a good story which has his readers eager for the next turn of the page. This said, Windflower wouldn’t be the Mountie he is without his ever trusty colleagues and once again it’s refreshing to find characters talking like real people and not stilted characters in a book. Sheila, Tizzard Evanchuk and Betsy, to name a few, are brought understatedly and convincingly to life by Martin but just because they are believable and human doesn’t mean the plot is mundane or boring. There is still plenty going on as Martin not only builds momentum but poignantly explores the reach of the dark web and the powerful theme of male suicide.
Fans who have been following Martin’s series since the release of The Walker on the Cape certainly won’t be disappointed with Darkest Before The Dawn and those discovering Sgt. Windflower for the first time will enjoy catching up. An excellent series that never disappoints, Darkest Before The Dawn is unreservedly recommended!