Whisper Of The Seals by Roxanne Bouchard

There’s only one thing more deadly than the storm…

Fisheries officer Simone Lord is transferred to Quebec’s remote Magdalen Islands for the winter, and at the last minute ordered to go aboard a trawler braving a winter storm for the traditional grey seal hunt, while all of the other boats shelter onshore.

Detective Sergeant Joaquin Moralès is on a cross-country boat trip down the St Lawrence River, accompanied by Nadine Lauzon, a forensic psychologist working on the case of a savagely beaten teenager with Moralès’ old team in Montreal.

When it becomes clear that Simone is in grave danger aboard the trawler, the two cases converge, with startling, terrifying consequences for everyone involved…

The award-winning author of The Coral Bride returns with an atmospheric, race-against-the-clock thriller set on the icy seas in the midst of a brutal seal hunt, where nothing is as it seems and absolutely no one can be trusted.


Whisper Of The Seals is a much welcomed return to Roxanne Bouchard’s characters Fisheries Officer Simone Lord and Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales.

It is a quite remarkable piece of literature, written as a love song to both the landscape and the characters, but most of all in my opinion, to the reader. Few other thrillers are as beautifully written or as poetic, as this perfect combination of taunt story telling and utterly addictive, electrifying relationship between characters and readers.

The third in the Detective Morales series, it picks up on the developing relationship between both the main characters, but importantly never loses the tension created by the longing in the reader to see them find peace and possibly love. Still unresolved at the beginning of the story, the two seem to be floundering and this creates epic levels of pressure within the narrative, which in turn unbalances the reader and frankly it was for me at least, part of why this book was impossible to put down. The writer made me care and then yanked so hard at my heartstrings, that as I read on, I thought my heart would explode. It all felt traumatic and I loved it! It is reader heaven, that powerful need for them to survive the dangers they face and find some resolution to how they feel, yet at the same time enjoying the painful separation. Why read if not for that emotional connection created by Roxanne Bouchard between character and reader? It is perfect and marks her characterization, as one of the very many reasons, this novel is such a classic.

The story is perfection, from the danger faced by Simome Lord aboard the trawler and then Morales frustrated attempts to enjoy a holiday away from his natural environment, it feels like you are on a rollercoaster. One moment a sense of terrifying exhilaration is gripping you, then you are suddenly on the quieter, strained tranquility of the boat Morales sails on and backwards and forwards you go, until you can barely breath. The writer using these two alternative settings to create varying levels of tension, that have the reader so rattled, they have to read on, simply to know who survives. Frankly I had to take a break from reading to cope before I moved onto my next read. Would I do it again, of course I would, because her writing is some of the best I have ever read and Whisper of Seals her best book yet.

You can Purchase this novel directly from the publisher Orenda Books. You can also purchase it from Waterstones and Amazon.

About the author

Ten years or so ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gaspé Peninsula. The local fish ermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. Her fifth novel (first translated into English) We Were the Salt of the Sea was published in 2018 to resounding critical acclaim, followed by The Coral Bride, which was a number-one bestseller in Canada, shortlisted for the CWA Translation Dagger and won the Crime Writers of Canada’s Crime Book of the Year Award. Whisper of the Seals is her third novel. She lives in Quebec with her partner.

About the translator

David Warriner translates from French and nurtures a healthy passion for Franco, Nordic and British crime fiction. Growing up in deepest Yorkshire, he developed incurable Francophilia at an early age. Emerging from Oxford with a Modern Languages degree he narrowly escaped the graduate rat race by hopping on a plane to Canada – and never looked back. More than a decade into a high-powered commercial translation career, he listened to his heart and turned his hand to the delicate art of literary translation. David has lived in France and Quebec, and now calls beautiful British Columbia home.
Follow David on Twitter @givemeawave and on his website wtranslation.ca

The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh.

On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests.

His lakeside holiday homes are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbours. This will be the party to end all parties.

But not everyone is there to celebrate. By midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.

On New Year’s Day, DC Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects.

The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbours, friends and family – and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.

With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead . . . but who finally killed him.

In a village with this many secrets, a murder is just the beginning.


This the first in DC Morgan Mystery Series is an exciting and thrilling story about a small community and the death of one of their own Rhys lloyd. Thrown into the mix is DC Ffion Morgan who has to discover the who the murderer is, not just from the visitors at the lakeside development, but amongst her friends and neighbours.

So many things contribute to why this is such a fantastic read, superb characterisation, an evocative setting and a story full of thrills guaranteed to have you sat on the edge of your reading chair, cwtched up and lost in the world of Cwm Coed. Atmosphere is very important in these novels, the levels of tension that are rarely found in other genres. The mountains and lakes of this Welsh community on one side of the lake and the English border on the other side, is cleverly used to draw on the tensions that have simmered between the Welsh speaking community and their English counterparts for centuries. You can feel the animosity leeching from the pages, the tension between those the welcome this new development and those that hate its very existence. How the new new comers seem to be equally divided towards the villagers, all mixed up into a melting pot that leads to murder and deception. It is as if the land in which they are living is drawing on past hatreds, leaving me the reader unable to turn away from the story until the last page was turned. It really is one of the best uses of landscape to create a sense of mounting danger in a novel I have ever read.

The characters especially DC Ffion Morgan are superb. Intelligent, passionate and troubled she is the epitome of the strong women who have inhabited these communities for hundreds of years. What really makes her special is the writer’s willingness to slowly peel away at the layers of her personality as the story progresses, yet never losing sight of her core strength, her passion for solving crime. Her vunerabity is never allowed to overshadow the story, but gives it an emotional depth that left me wanting to walk into the pages of the novel and stand at her side in sisterly support.

I really can’t wait for the second in the series to be published. Murder and secrets have never been more exciting than in The Last Party.

You can buy this novel from Amazon and Waterstones

About the author

With over 2 million copies of her books sold worldwide, number one bestseller Clare Mackintosh is the multi-award-winning author of I Let You Go, which was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It also won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year in 2016. Both Clare’s second and third novels, I See You and Let Me Lie, were number one Sunday Times bestsellers. All three of her thrillers were selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club, and together have been translated into forty languages. After the End was published in 2019 and became an instant Sunday Times bestseller, and in 2021 Hostage flew straight into the top ten. Together, her books have spent more than sixty weeks in The Sunday Times bestseller lists.

Clare is patron of the Silver Star Society, a charity based at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, which supports parents experiencing high-risk or difficult pregnancies. She lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.

For more information visit Clare’s website http://www.claremackintosh.com or find her at http://www.facebook.com/ClareMackWrites or on Twitter @ClareMackint0sh

My Wonderful Reading Year – July 2022 – The Journey Continues.

As the summer continues, I feel that I’m getting a better balance between catching up with my rapidly rising book backlog and reading books for review. Reading simply for pleasure, something I feel I need to do more and more for my own health. A family crisis this month making me realise I need to take a step back occasionally from reading to a deadline.

So here are the wonderful books I read in July 2022.

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell.

I purchased this book in 2019, so it was high time I read it. Glad to say I loved it, even though it was deliciously creepy.

How To Survive Family Holidays by Jack Whitehall

Another book from my personal stash of books, though a more recent purchase. I loved the series of travel documentaries Jack Whitehall did with his father and so bought this as a result. It is brilliant, funny and charming.

The White Hare by Jane Johnson

Read as part of a blog review tour, it’s a passionately wrought tale of family secrets, of how the past leaks into the future. Of how the places we live, carry within their DNA, the history of those that came before us. The land the story is set within, is as much a character as Magda and I loved how Jane Johnson brought the west of Cornwall alive within The White Hare. Anyone who has spent time in Cornwall, will know how the landscape feels imbued with the secrets of the past, of how when the mist drifts in from the sea, it can feel like there is an aura of enchantment wrapping itself around you.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins -Reid.

Plucked off my to be read pile, I delved into this book having loved Malibu Rising. This was a fascinating story of falling in love with the wrong person in pressure cooker of Hollywood fame. It is simply a splendid read and this is one of my very favourite authors.

The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh.

Read as a review book, this first in DC Morgan Mystery series is a superb thriller. Exciting, full of a wealth of intriguing characters and a story of murder as well as betrayal. I can’t wait to share my full review soon.

Cabin Fever by Michael Smith and Jonathan Franklin

Read for review it is a remarkably honest account and a very moving one. But it is the honestly of the account, the tribute paid to all those that helped those stuck on the ship that makes it a very rewarding read. Many that ran the cruise company didn’t cover themselves with glory and the book is rightly honest about this and that made me feel angry. That was then tempered with the bravery of the passangers, of the crew, of the pilots who boarded the ship to guide them through the Suez Canal, that was the beating heart of this book.I

Night Shadows by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir

Night Shadows is the third thrilling instalment in the Forbidden Iceland Series; returning the reader to the town of Akranes and Detective Elma. The story revolves around the death of a young man and the mystery of a young girl who seems to have disappeared, provoking a multi angled investigation. It is superb and one of the best thrillers I have read this year.

Well that was my reading month for July! I was very lucky to enjoy every single book I read. Not quite got the balance right between review books and my own books, but I feel I’m getting there. I’m probably fooling myself, but I’m enjoying what I’m reading and that for me is a win.