Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Good Job, Greenaway! by RM Greenaway


Review of Creep

by RM's inner critic

Like Susan, I got cold all over when first faced with this assignment, but it's turned out to be a healthy exercise,  maybe even an exorcism. That's because my inner critic is really good at giving negative reviews about my work; they're usually one-liners-followed by exclamation marks, but sometimes can get elaborately mean and hurtful. Yet I realize that allowing my live-in critic to get carried away is not good for the soul, and it's sure not what the Little Train That Could would do, and we all know that the Little Train could, in the end. So here I've got her to say something nice for a change:

Greenaway's BC Blues crime series, like real life, is rich with grit, grief, and glee. Being socially awkward, the author is maybe using her fictitious police team to not only entertain but explore relationships from the safe distance of her keyboard. In so doing she has created a set of complex characters, an RCMP team that works together to solve each new case delivered by dispatch, but also to solve the problem of themselves and each other.

Third in the series, CREEP brings us back to North Vancouver, a big city surrounded by a much bigger wilderness. There are canyons and rivers, rain forests and endless trails to explore, and in CREEP, as Halloween approaches, there is also an entity lurking in fun-fur and scaring the wits out of the locals. But is he, she, or it, also responsible for the mangled corpse discovered in the crawlspace of an abandoned house within the peaceful burbs of Lynn Valley?

Greenaway's two main protagonists have a back story that veins through the series and keeps the tension strumming. Constable Dion has committed a crime in his not-so-distant past that he must keep buried, and Constable Leith is duty-bound to investigate that very crime. In spite of the cat-and-mouse roles that divide them, they are both set on bringing the crawl-space killer to justice, as well as roping in the werewolf, and ultimately answering the question, are werewolf and killer one and the same? The answer doesn't come in the usual reveal-all denouement, but an unravelling shock to at least this reader!

Though Greenaway seems set on providing her particular brand of escapism to her readers -- a police procedural with a hint of allegory -- there is also some food for thought found in the pages of CREEP - i.e.:the urban conundrum, faced especially by young people, in these days of escalating real estate prices, rock-bottom minimum wage, and too many mental health issues going unaddressed.

In summary, I take back what I've said looking over Greenaway's shoulder as she wrote this novel -- it's actually not bad. Good job, Greenaway!

What others have said:

"RM Greenaway’s dark and haunting BC Blues series introduces a cast of finely rendered, flawed and unforgettable characters...." Deryn Collier, author of Confined Spaces and Open Secret

"RM Greenaway injects an element of gothic suspense into Creep, the third mystery featuring career cops Cal Dion and David Leith. The result is a haunting, well-wrought tale, with echoes of Hound of the Baskervilles, set against the dark majesty of Vancouver's North Shore. A compelling read." Sam Wiebe, award-winning author of Last of the Independents, Invisible Dead, and Cut You Down



Paul D. Marks said...

RM, it's so true that our inner critics are so good at giving negative reviews. Sometimes to the point where it stops us dead in our tracks. So this is a good exercise in countering that little devil.

Cathy Ace said...

Great job Rachel - mine's yet to be written....argghh!

Unknown said...

Thanks Paul. Now to keep it at bay.

Cool head and steady fingers, Cathy. I'm looking forward to your write-up on the great Cathy Ace :)

Susan C Shea said...

Well done! Once we tell the innter critic to go play in the traffic for an hour, we can see our work more clearly,

Unknown said...

I think we both did a good job, Susan :)

James Ziskin said...

Mwah ha ha!