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  • True crime but so much more...

    A debut novel by Joanna Jolly and its a hard hitting, thought provoking read. Why do the police not take it more seriously when an indigenous female goes missing in Winnipeg. Surely any young girl or woman no matter what colour, race, religion should matter. But it seems that Indigenous Women/girls do not get the same investigation that other Canadians would get. This tells the gripping account of Tina Fontaine an Indigenous girl that went missing, but on the 17th August 2014 her body was found in Winnipeg’s Red River, her body had been wrapped in material and weighted down with rocks. But the book is more than that. It looks at the injustices that native Indigenous people, mainly women, have suffered. This is a distressing and sad story, a true crime. The focus is primarily on the murder investigation conducted by the Winnipeg Police Homicide Unit, led by Sgt John O’Donovan, he had emigrated from Ireland at the age of 28, he hadn’t really planned on becoming a police officer, but he did. Previous to this case there had been a lot of deaths of native people, particularly young females, which the police had done little about. This case bothered O’Donovan and it raised awareness of the topic in the eyes of the general public at large. it becomes clearly apparent that there is a long history of ignoring crimes against native women in general. The blame is put down to their choice of lifestyle, so doesn’t get investigated. Even though many of the crimes involve rape and murder, as if these people don’t count in society. Tina’s life from when she was a baby being raised on the Sagkeeng First Nation Reserve which is around 100km from Winnipeg, leading up to her last known movements before her death. What had caused this young girl who was being raised by a loving family to run away? To end up on drugs, sexually exploited, and then murdered. There is a lot of research gone into the book, following the police investigation, to the arresting and charging of the prime suspect Raymond Cormier, and the trial in December 2015 which led to his acquittal. Tina’s death and case shocked and outraged a lot of people across Canada, especially the Indigenous communities, it was the breaking point which resulted in increased activism and called for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. A complex in depth book covering so much, it is greatly researched, and is certainly an eye opening read. I for one hope it does some good. A great debut novel.

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