I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Transplanted from New York City to the tiny mountain town of Waterton, Alberta with the task of saving a floundering new hotel, Rich Evans is desperate to return to the city as soon as he can. The locals seem unusually hostile towards his efforts, or maybe even menacing, and was that a cougar on his door-step last night? As Rich begins to wonder whether his predecessor disappeared of his own accord, he finds himself strongly drawn to Louise Newman, the garage mechanic who is fixing his suddenly unreliable BMW, and the only person in Waterton who doesn’t seem desperate to run him out of town. As Rich works on the hotel, the town is torn apart by a series of gruesome, unsolved murders. With Louise as his only ally in a town that seems set against him, Rich can’t help but wonder: will he be the next victim?
| It was interesting to read a novel set in a town that I know a little bit. I’ve spent some time in Waterton, although not a great deal. I also grew up close to a small town and I’m not sure how I would feel about the depiction of Waterton if I was a resident there. Perhaps I would be excited just to see my town represented in a novel, which is the most likely reaction.
My experience of small towns is that they can hardly wait to join in the newest technologies and that they do so to retain their young people. Otherwise, the outflow of youth and vigour soon reduces them to senior citizens. So the reluctance to bring in internet to the town didn’t ring true for me.
However, the reluctance to change is a human universal. I think we all kick against changes to our lives and routines, even when those changes would improve both. I also found the antagonism to a perceived American big-shot to be a very authentic Canadian reaction! Rich Evans would face the same kind of skepticism and reluctance in virtually any small Canadian town.
I loved Louise (Lou), with her feelings and visions of what was going to happen, as well as her calm demeanour and skill at helping others. Her profession, auto mechanic, and her penchant for making friends and helping people both reminded me strongly of Mercy Thompson, of the urban fantasy series. However, no vampires or werewolves in this book, just a very human serial killer and a threatening drug ring.