Dave, an undercover cop, is busted when his cloaking power fails in the middle of a biker gang meeting. Forced to hide out as detachment commander in Kirk's Landing, a small Manitoba town, his only goal is to continue as a loner and lay low for a year. He learns it's hard to stay a loner in a small town, though, especially with everyone eager to meet him and enlist his help with their version of the local issues. Dave finds his detective instincts pulling him into an unsolved disappearance, corruption in the local high tech paper mill, and pollution of the local lakes and rivers. When Dave tries to use his invisibility to help him in his investigations he discovers there are darker forces at work-forces that are now targeting him, changing him. It's now up to his friends to decide if he can be saved in time.
Question. What is the critical attribute a law enforcement officer needs to successfully infiltrate a gang involved in criminal activities? Why, of course, it is the ability to blend in; in fact, blend in so well the gang hardly notices you at all. Corporal Dave Browne of the RCMP operates undercover in just such a role and his ability to ‘blend’ far surpasses that of his team members. You see, Dave doesn’t simply blend in--he actually fades away--literally disappears and reappears at will. Handy, huh? You bet. That is, until the one time during a ‘fade out’, he ‘fades in’ at quite the inappropriate moment. Cover blown. But, how? Why? No time to theorize and analyze. If he expects to survive, time to get re-assigned.
His superiors relocate him to Kirk’s Landing, a town in Manitoba, to serve as Commander of the detachment. A neutral enough position to bide his time until the fallout from his last assignment clears. After all, it isn’t as if anything really serious was going to occur while he was there. What could a sleepy little town’s crises amount to anyway? A couple of domestic disputes, buddies scrapping with too much beer under their belts, kids playing their music too loud… Just the usual small town stuff, right?
Dave discovers there is absolutely nothing ‘usual’ about Kirk’s Landing. Behind those friendly smiles are dark and sinister secrets. Everyone has a skeleton or two in their closet, and those bones are restless. Dave was instructed to put in his time there and make no waves. But, as the seemingly picture-perfect façade of Kirk’s Landing begins to crumble, Dave finds he cannot turn a blind eye to the shadows lurking around each and every corner.
A missing person’s case hangs over the town like a shroud. Rumors abound concerning issues at the mill. When Dave tours the facility, he is made to feel like an intruder, and the information he receives is vague and misdirected. Is there a connection? Did the missing man discover unethical or illegal goings-on and need to be silenced, or was it just another case of a hiker losing his way in a snowstorm? Dave isn’t receiving a lot of input from the locals. They need time to basically figure him out and determine whose side he’s on. Is he there to help hold the community together, or is he just like all the others before him--there to simply help himself to whatever he can take from them. And, as if all of that wasn’t enough for Dave to contend with, Evil itself decides to follow Dave to Kirk’s Landing, and threatens to permanently tear the community apart.
Kirk’s Landing has everything a story needs: Three-dimensional characters, diverse cultures and customs, and enough twists and turns to keep your head spinning. The puzzle is there, to be completed one piece at a time, chapter by chapter, page by page. If you enjoy suspense, action, and mystery, along with a sneak peek into man’s dark side, you’ll love Kirk’s Landing. Make sure you allow enough time to finish it once you start though. There’s no putting this one down!
Kirk's Landing introduces readers to a small community in Northern Canada, fraught with hidden issues that are further complicated by Dave's own reluctance to face his Native heritage. I was hooked from the first page and found the story fascinating for it took me to a place I've never been -- a small community in Manitoba, where the winters are beyond cold, quite capable of dropping to minus 40C.
The story begins dramatically and keeps the reader wondering how conflicts can be resolved. I also enjoyed the authentic relationships between our hero and a potential lady friend, and also for the very real picture given of small town conflicts, especially when folks in power have something to hide.
Kirk's Landing was fun to read. The people, the beautiful yet harsh back country, and some of the issues between predominantly white and predominantly native cultures stay with me. A fine first book to this planned series!
Have you ever wanted to become invisible at will? You could walk unseen into a crowd or enter restricted places without being noticed. Indeed, you could certainly get yourself into a lot of trouble with the law if you had a penchant for mischief, but not if you were an undercover RCMP officer like Corporal Dave Browne busting inner city Toronto street gangs for drugs and crime. Unfortunately, his supernatural power to ‘fade’, which came to him naturally from the aboriginal spirit world, was not as he learned, always one hundred percent reliable. The novel begins as Dave suddenly re-appears at a biker gang meeting and upon being discovered, barely escapes with his life. Forced into exile by his superiors Dave is sent to a remote community in Northern Manitoba in charge of a police detachment in Kirk’s Landing. His intention is to bide his time and lie low until he can safely return to the big city, however, that is easier said than done as he finds himself entangled in the lives and issues of the locals including a disappearance, a pollution cover-up at a high tech paper mill, and conflicts between natives and the white community. There is more to learn about his native roots (an Ojibwa grandmother) and his acquired native powers from the Chief and the elders and from the Chief’s lovely daughter, the local barmaid JP. From the skillful hand of Mike Young, readers are captivated by the larger than life characters and of the likeable Mountie who in the end will always get his man. This book is highly recommended to anyone who would enjoy a crime fiction with an added magical twist.
Although I finished the very satisfying Kirk's Landing over a year ago, the setting really stayed with me -- the cold, the snowmobile rides, the curling. Rural northern Ontario/Manitoba isn't a place I know well, and it really felt like a character in this procedural-with-a-twist. After introducing undercover cop Dave's secret superpower (invisibility on-demand), Young promptly leaves it to the side while building up the main event--a crooked mill operation in the hinterlands of the wilderness. And although I don't know this particular hinterland, it felt like it had all the right notes. The particular demands of Dave's superpower come back into the story later, but I felt it could have played a more simmering presence during the meat of the story. Still, as a first outing, this is a terrific effort.
I read this over the Christmas holidays and I loved it. The character development kept me interested through the story. The location and up-to-date cultural references were refreshing and the twists and turns engaging. For a first book, Mike Young has done a great job. I can't wait to read the sequel!
The author combines a tale of small town police work with First Nations spirituality and a slow building romance. It's a good read and shows the author put a lot of work into blending his themes and making the most of his characters. A good read.
I've found a new addition to my favorite authors. "Kirk's Landing" is a fun read, and a page turner! I found myself invested in the characters and plot. The only thing I might have changed is the ending, I was looking for closure. Get a copy and enjoy a good read!