Kirk's Landing by Mike Young

    Kirk's Landing
    by Mike Young

    Deux Voiliers Publishing
    December 2013
    ISBN 978-0988104860

Reviewed by Alex Binkley
The debut novel of Ottawa author Mike Young launches the story of RCMP undercover officer Dave Browne whose cover is blown leading to his reassignment to a detachment in a small Manitoba town to get away from a vengeful drug gang in Toronto. Intending to spend a year staying out of trouble, Dave gets drawn into investigating a suspicious disappearance and grumblings about corruption and pollution linked to the paper mill, the town’s main employer. Dave also has to contend with the degradation of his special talent to fade from sight by a spirit that is making him increasingly violent.

The book offers plenty for the crime and mystery fans who like to follow police work and the solving of crimes. There’s also a strong current of First Nations’ spiritualism in the story. As well, the author captures the political tensions of a remote, one industry town, the politics behind a large government grant for the mill, and the uneasy relationship between First Nations and non-natives.
There’s also a slow building romance between Dave and JB, who has returned to Kirk's Landing after a failed attempt at university to try to find her missing father. Young concludes the novel with an unexpected twist for romance fans, which suggests we haven’t heard the last of Dave and JB.
Alex Binkley is a free-lance journalist and science-fiction writer. He is the author of Humanity's Saving Grace (Loose Cannon Press, 2013)