Based on the brief description, you might think the reader knows what to expect not that kind of place, the shocking debut novel by Toronto-based author Michael Melgard. The background is simple, but tragic. In the spring of 1997, 18-year-old Laura McPherson disappeared while driving on a country road near her parents’ home in the fictional town of Griffiths on Vancouver Island. “Since Laura joined the basketball team in 10th grade, she’s been slowly jogging to the gravel pit three nights a week and sprinting to the gate several times.” , its route was constrained by “royal lands with hundreds of miles of mountains and streams and forests, endless nature ending only at the sea on the west coast.” ” Her body is found a few days later. Her murder is never solved.
Almost 20 years later, David lives in the basement of the house he grew up in, still reeling from the death of his mother, but is forced to deal with the loss of his sister again when a reporter is writing a new story. . She arrives in town about her unsolved murder.
not that kind of place The film is set in the modern world of true-life crime podcasts, tragic anniversary coverage, and the commodification of trauma. “This story has endured and has become part of the state’s common consciousness. Laura’s graduation photos include a picture of a Victorian infant who went missing decades ago and a family of four killed in Nanaimo. It was as recognizable as an unspecified sketch of the police that vanished without a trace.” It’s a familiar world. All too familiar.
Rather than embracing that world and creating a familiar crime novel, Melgard delves deeper. not that kind of place Rather than being a crime novel, it explores the lives of people who lived after crime and tragedy, and the communities that nurture such crime. The title should be approached with irony. teeth A place like that. They are all. The idea that “it doesn’t happen here” is a fairy tale. This kind of crime can and does happen anywhere.
It may seem self-evident and not worth explaining much, not that kind of place Completely enchanted. Focusing on David’s character and the role of his late parents, Melgard also reveals David’s growing awareness of his hometown and its culture of violence, racism, misogyny and drug use. To go. It’s a personal story, but it’s filled with both intimate sadness and social darkness—the shadows that lie beneath the glossy surface of an idyllic small town.
Part of the novel’s power comes from its sense of place. Melgard paints Griffith and his surroundings with a sharp and sometimes merciless eye. The town will be familiar in abstraction to anyone who has ever lived in a small town, but readers familiar with Vancouver Island will be stunned the moment they recognize it, albeit fictional. (The reference to the missing “Victoria Toddler” is a clear reference to the 1991 disappearance of four-year-old Michael Dunahy, which is appalling).
David’s path to understanding is modest and almost brief, but this approach only adds strength to the story, leaving the weight of his newfound understanding to the reader. It’s a great approach and a great novel.