On my blog today, I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.
When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, DS Joaquin Moralès begins a straightforward search for the boat’s missing captain, Angel Roberts – a rare female in a male-dominated world. But Moralès finds himself blocked at every turn – by his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of his own personal problems.
When Angel’s body is finally discovered, it’s clear something very sinister is afoot, and Moralès and son are pulled into murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep.
Exquisitely written, with Bouchard’s trademark lyrical prose, The Coral Bride evokes the power of the sea on the communities who depend on it, the never-ending struggle between the generations, and an extraordinary mystery at the heart of both.
I was a huge fan of Roxanne Bouchard’s We Were the Salt of the Sea, which I read a couple of years ago now, and I couldn’t wait to see what she would come up with next. Her latest novel, The Coral Bride, is once again exquisitely written and the writing brings to life the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula. This is a writer with such a huge talent.
The Coral Bride is a book which focuses a lot on character. Detective Joaquin Morales is investigating the disappearance of a young woman, Angel Roberts. Her boat has been found adrift, but there is no sign of Angel. Angel Roberts is a fisherwoman. It is a job that has always typically been seen as being only suitable for men. It is clear that some of the local fishermen don’t take too kindly to Angel working alongside them. When Angel’s body is recovered, the gear in the investigation is taken up a notch. Detective Morales is convinced that there are people who Angel knows who are keeping secrets, and he is determined to get to the truth.
I briefly touched on the setting in the opening paragraph of this review, and after reading this book and Roxanne Bouchard’s last book; her writing has made me want to visit this area. Although there are those in the community keeping secrets about Angel’s death, you get the sense that, on the whole, this is a community that looks after their own.
I also really like DS Morales whose own past is an intriguing one. He immigrated to Canada from Mexico several years earlier, and in this book, we are introduced to his son, Sebastian. Sebastian has come to his father seeking his help after losing his way in his own life. You can see in these extracts, how much of a family man Morales is. Morales wants to take time to spend it with his son and help him get back on his feet, but he also can’t abandon the investigation into Angel’s death. It did make me feel sorry for him that his relationship with his wife didn’t work out and that he hasn’t yet found someone else to share his life with.
I found the writing to be utterly addictive as I was reading, although it is quite a long book compared to We Were the Salt of the Sea, I read it really quickly. It has been expertly translated again by David Warriner. The writing itself is lyrical, poetic, and it draws you into the world of DS Morales and the setting around him.
Roxanne Bouchard wraps everything up in a tense finale as DS Morales begins to work out what happened to Angel Roberts. It thought the ending was very satisfactory.
If you’re looking for a series of books that you can become lost in, then I would highly recommend both books in this series. It’s the type of book which you start to read, and you don’t realise how much time has gone by as you are transported into the world of DS Morales. I’m really hoping that there is going to more to come from this writer and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication date: 12th August 2020 (kindle) 12th November 2020 (paperback)
Print length: 300 pages
The Coral Bride is available to buy:
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