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


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