Lead Review

  • Book: Whisper of the Seals
  • Location: The Gaspé Peninsula
  • Author: David Warriner (translator), Roxanne Bouchard

Review Author: Tina Hartas



Following We Were the Salt of the Sea and The Coral Bride, Whisper of the Seals is the third book in the Joachim Moralès detective thriller series by Roxanne Bouchard. The plots of each are very different, but they are all set around the Gaspé Peninsula and the mouth of the Saint Lawrence river in Québec. The smell of the sea and the the feel of wind are on every page. It is a harsh life for those who earn their living from or near the ocean. The Gaspé Peninsula is a picturesque tourist paradise in summer – but out of season in winter it is very different.

Whisper of the Seals has two separate, but ultimately converging, plots. Fisheries Officer, Simone Lord, goes to sea with a very motley (and somewhat sinister) crew to ensure the regulations covering a seal hunt are adhered to. They are the only boat at sea as a major storm is forecast and a deadly ice pack is expected to drift in. It will not be a straightforward trip. Why has the crew insisted on setting off with such hazardous conditions in the offing?

In parallel, Joachim Moralès is on board another ship heading for a skiing holiday on the Gaspé Peninsula. On the boat is a Montreal detective, with whom Joachim used to work. She only just made the trip as she is investigating a recent drug related murder. The two of them talk about the case…

The two plots gradually come together. And the race is on to save lives.

Whisper of the Seals is a very tense and atmospheric book with a good few surprises!

Health Warning: The book is not for the squeamish or faint hearted. The arguments for and against seal hunting are rehearsed, and the hunt itself – as described – is very bloody and distressing,

A really good read, though.

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