Honour Among Men

This is a fantastic book.  I picked up Honour Among Men (published by RendezVous Crime) by Barbara Fradkin as a summer read to take on holiday. It won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel by the Crime Writers of Canada in 2007. What a lucky find for me!

I usually don’t like books that go back and forth in time, but Fradkin does such a great job of weaving the past and the present. The present involves Ottawa and Halifax, the past is a peacekeeper’s diary written while on a mission in Croatia. The diary entries are brutal and vivid, and they bring to light an aspect of peacekeeping that we tend to forget about… that there often is no real peace to begin with. The present involves Patti Oliver from Sydney, Nova Scotia. She was found murdered in Ottawa  in an area where a lot of homeless people congregate. The first part of the puzzle to solve is “why was she in Ottawa?”. It seems her murder may have a link to the military and a murder years ago in Halifax. Inspector Michael Green and the Ottawa police work with Sergeant Kate McGrath of the Halifax police to try and tie up all the links and leads they have pertaining to the case, to see if it is connected to the case McGrath dealt with years ago in Halifax that was never solved.  It sounds complicated, but it isn’t. The writing is great, it’s easy to follow the storyline, and the diary bits really make you think about Canada’s role in peacekeeping missions. And the local references to Ottawa really appealed to me. Especially the dig about city council’s continuous debate over light-rail projects and tulip festivals.

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