Detective Inspector Ellie March of the Ontario Provincial Police is called in to investigate when a man from the village of Sparrow Lake is found shot to death, execution style, in a farmer’s field in rural eastern Ontario. Leading an inexperienced team of detectives, she probes beneath the wintry surface of the township to discover that the victim had a dark secret–one that may endanger others in the community as well. For young and enthusiastic Detective Constable Kevin Walker, the chance to work with Ellie March is an honour, until the situation turns ugly and unexpected betrayal threatens to destroy his promising career.
Review: With Sorrow Lake, author Michael J. McCann introduces a new set of characters to readers in what promises to be a thrilling police procedural series.
Detective Inspector Ellie March spearheads the team as a seasoned investigator. When faced with an investigation of a shooting death, her advice to Detective Constable Kevin Walker proves to be the foundation for the story. With seemingly no clues, March simply said, “Start with the people closest to the victim, and work your way out.” As the duo learns more about the victim, March’s sage advice rings true.
Since the story takes place in Canada, there was a bit of a learning curve for me in navigating the law enforcement lingo. However, the author did an excellent job focusing on the analytics, ensuring that readers were given a close look at what happens inside an investigation.
March is a complex character. Described by her daughter as “the unhappiest person, like ever” who “makes happy people feel unhappy,” there’s no doubt that her personal life is a chaotic mess. To compensate for her personal failings, March pours her energy and attention into her career. As a result, she comes across as being a know-it-all. Seen through Walker’s eyes, March is the utmost professional who clearly is good at what she does.
As the story unfolds, the detectives start tying the threads of the case together. With no clear indication why Bill Hansen was murdered, readers are kept guessing until the very end. In the process, there’s plenty of top-notch investigative skills on display, making this series one for mystery lovers to add to their shelves.
Michael J. McCann was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. He earned a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) with a major in English Literature from Trent University in Peterborough, and a Master of Arts in English from Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.
He served as Production Editor of Criminal Reports (Third Series) at Carswell Legal Publications (Western), where he was also Co-ordinator of Law Reports, before joining Canada Customs, now the Canada Border Services Agency. While at CBSA he was a training specialist, project officer, and national program manager before leaving public service to write novels full time.
Mike now lives and writes in Oxford Station, Ontario. He is married to supernatural novelist Lynn L. Clark. They have one son.
Mike is a member of the Crime Writers of Canada and the Horror Writers Association. He is an author of crime fiction and supernatural thrillers. His Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel series includes Blood Passage, Marcie’s Murder, The Fregoli Delusion, and The Rainy Day Killer. He is also the author of the supernatural thriller The Ghost Man. His most recent novel, Sorrow Lake, is the first book of his new March and Walker Crime Novel series set in eastern Ontario, Canada.