Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: David Adams Richards

By Lynn Willoughby

Principles to Live By ~ David Adams Richards

This Canadian author has the unique talent of demanding that you, the reader, participate in his novels.  His characters appear meek and solitary, often not even likable, but Richards expects us to stay with him and see the essential honesty in these people.
In this novel John Delano is retiring from the RCMP in six months.  He is currently stationed in Saint John, New Brunswick.  He is battling several health issues and is accused of having mental health problems as well.  He is alone, with few friends, no family or significant ties to colleagues.  He is battling demons from his time in Rawanda during the genocide in 1994, and has been accused of being anti-women, racist and anti-Francophone.  And he is the good guy!
John’s unwillingness to accept corruption at any level, or laziness or cover ups have made him extremely unpopular.  So when he decides he must get to the bottom of a cold case where a child disappeared from the foster care system, he gets little assistance.  This will be his final case and he intends to see it through before he retires.  Will that help assuage the guilt and sorrow he feels over the disappearance of his own son?
There are lots of dots to connect in this book, but it is well worth reading, maybe even reading twice! I found myself going to Google more that once to read about the historical events Richards manages to present in a book set in New Brunswick.
The positive hope that his characters never lose, especially those with nothing to begin with, keeps me coming back to this author.  He is able to portray the good, the bad and the ugly of life, and I want to read more.
  •  Mercy Among the Children
  •  The Friends of Meager Fortune
……………..and others

Who Knew?

UN Force Commander General Romeo Dallaire, a Canadian humanitarian and retired General, was given little information on the background of the conflict in Rawanda.  By 1994 it was clear the “non-battle” strategy of the UN had failed to prevent the genocide of the Tursi by the Hutu.  In light of this the majority of the UN force withdrew.

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