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Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries

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The Sequel to Broken But Not Dead, an IPPY Award Silver Medalist


A murder enveloped in pain and mystery...


When Canada's retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife's unsolved murder.


The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.


Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister's horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him...

ebook

First published November 1, 2016

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About the author

Joylene Nowell Butler

9 books46 followers
I am Canadian/Métis, the author of suspense novels Dead Witness, Maski: Broken But Not Dead, Break Time, Matowak, and Kiss of the Assassin. In 2012 Broken But Not Dead won the IPPY Silver Medal. Born in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, (April 25, 1953) I am the youngest of three children of Charles (Charlie) Murray Nowell, veteran, farmer and truck driver, and Gabrielle Frances, (nee Desjardins), a member of the wartime singing trio The Desjardins Sisters. When my father was discharged from the Navy, he moved us from Victoria to Haney, (Maple Ridge) BC. I grew up with horses, cows, pigs and chickens. A regular tomboy. I received a Bachelor's Degree in English and Philosophy from Douglas College and attended Simon Fraser University. In 1979, my husband Ralph and I moved our five sons to Prince George, BC. In 1992 we moved an hour west of the city and built a log/stick house on Cluculz Lake, 36 km east of Vanderhoof. Twenty-five years later, we sold our home and today spend six months in Bucerias, Nayarit, and six months dividing our time between BC’s interior and anywhere else we may end up at.

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5 stars
15 (53%)
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7 (25%)
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Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 reviews
Profile Image for Anna del C. Dye.
Author 31 books256 followers
June 10, 2016
Matowak Woman who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler is a murder mystery that will keep you glued to its pages with a good plot and inviting deliverance. It moves nicely to get to the twist at the end.
A very important retired lawyer and diplomat is killed in his house after breakfast, and his wife is the main suspect.
There is a lot of racism going on in this book, related to the Native American characters and those who think white people are better than they are. The policeman in charge of the crime is a Native American and one of his suspects is his white boss' native American woman that lives with him.
As in all good murder mysteries, this book has secrets, twists, abuse, a gun and a body. I enjoyed the theme and the characters, what I didn't like at all was the unnecessary swear words. They seemed to be used at random and did not necessarily feel natural to the conversation. I knocked one point off the rating for making me listen to them. I recommend it to adults who like murder mysteries and don't mind swearing in their reading.
Profile Image for Stuart Aken.
Author 25 books277 followers
July 17, 2016
This book is a police procedure crime novel, with the bonus that it’s set in Canada and therefore reveals both cultural and procedural aspects that may be new to many readers. Certainly, aspects of this fascinating tale led me across entirely new ground.

The three main characters are intriguing in their complexity, and the fourth, who sits in the background as a constant reminder to one of the others, plays a subtle role in defining the nature, history and priorities of the lead detective. Racial tensions and unconscious prejudices bring to the fore the manner in which individuals often allow popular opinion to adversely affect their judgment in spite of the evidence before them.

This is a novel that is as complex in its plot as it is in its character development. Much is kept uncertain by the clever use of an unreliable narrator. The reader is led along false routes and into dead ends. Relationships develop over the course of the story as it examines the nature of friendship, marriage, parenthood and familial ties. There is illuminating insight into the concerns and nature of powerful politicians, which struck me as remarkably intuitive.

Although this is a crime novel, dealing with murder and some associated violence, the story itself does not dwell on that violence. Neither will you find swearing or sexual content, though these elements undoubtedly feature as naturally in the lives of the protagonists as in those of everyone else. These are real people, dealing with real issues, but the reader is left to imagine those aspects of their lives.

The settings are described in an evocative manner that has the reader shivering with cold at times, admiring or decrying the opulence at others, depending on personal taste.

I’m not normally a reader of the police procedural genre, but this book was offered to me as a review copy by the publisher. I was intrigued by the synopsis and decided to read it. I’m glad I did. I also feel I now know something about life in Canada, it’s concerns and society. Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries is a good novel and an engaging and intriguing story.
Profile Image for Syndi Day.
130 reviews28 followers
August 14, 2016
i was the lucky winner of a copy of this novel through a goodreads win. i loved this story. it is very deep and intense. the story follows two main characters- a corporal with the rcmp who is investigating a murder and the woman whose husband has been murdered. at the same time the corporal is also dealing with his own feelings of grief and guilt surrounding his wife's recent murder, while the woman is dealing with her feelings about her son's murder/suicide and an emotionally abusive husband. the novel is written in an unusual way- you can hear their thoughts as they converse with others and these thoughts offer lots of insight into the characters' emotional states. added to all that is the fact that the corporal is also a native indian and has to deal with the subtle and overt prejudice which comes with that.i could not put this one down right up until the end which did not disappoint. a really good read! syndi
Profile Image for Medeia Sharif.
Author 18 books426 followers
September 2, 2016
This novel mainly follows two tortured characters: Sally, who is a suspect in her husband’s murder and who is grieving the death of her sons from a past event, and Danny Killian, the corporal in charge of the case who is torn by the recent murder of his wife. These are two characters readers can sink their teeth into. The author goes deep into their hearts and minds.

The novel explores the dynamics of Sally’s imperfect husband, an important minister in Canadian government. We also experience numerous slices of Danny’s relationships with others. Because Danny is a Native American, readers will see the deep-seated prejudice his kind faces.

There are twists and turns that kept me interested in the storyline and its characters. I learned a lot from reading this since I’ve never picked up a Canadian crime novel before. The book is richly detailed and placed me right into the scenes.
1 review
October 6, 2016
A few days ago I finished Matowak: Woman Who Cries and I'm still haunted by Mrs. Warner. Joylene Nowell Butler is a master at getting inside the mind of her characters. The unexpected twists held my attention from beginning to end.

It was good to meet the Meshango character again and learn how she was dealing with life after the horror she experienced in Broken But Not Dead. If you enjoy psychological thrillers, add Matowak: Woman Who Cries to your reading list.

Lynn, Manager
La Cruz Writers' Group
Located in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico
Joylene is member and frequent contributor
Profile Image for Rosie Amber.
Author 0 books113 followers
October 20, 2016
Three Point Five Stars.

Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries is a murder mystery set in Canada, and is a sequel to "Broken But Not Dead". The book opens with a murder scene of Leland Warner a former Minister of National Defense. During Leland's life and political career he built a long list of enemies and it quickly becomes a high profile case.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Danny Killian is given the case, he's a native Haida aboriginal, whose wife was recently murdered, which gives him an emotional tie to Leland's wife Sally.

Sally Warner has suffered enough; miscarriages, a still birth of a daughter and the death of two sons eighteen months ago, and now she faces life without her husband too. However she cannot be dismissed as a possible suspect.

The book is written from alternating points of view of both Sally and Killian with added character's own thoughts in an aside to the reader. The plot builds the suspense with suitable twists. Throughout we see a side of Canada described by culture and racism which adds to the atmosphere of the story-line.

There was room to shorten some of the dialogue into more natural everyday conversations, especially where the police procedures were being described, I expect most crime readers or TV viewers of crime have a good notion of what goes on and some of the details felt a little unnecessary, or repetitive.

My review is based on a free ARC pre final edit in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Christine Hart.
Author 10 books173 followers
July 5, 2017
Another excellent novel from Joylene Nowell Butler! Matowak: Woman Who Cries is a powerful story, vividly portraying northern British Columbia and delving into grief and healing for two very different characters.

Having read the related Broken But Not Dead, I found it fascinating to pick up the story in the same world with two new protagonists, one of which was someone I'd had little regard for in the previous story. I enjoy having my world view challenged by though-provoking stories. I think it's important and necessary.

I won't risk a spoiler, but I will say that the author does a skillful job of creating a dark maze through which the reader questions all possible outcomes. The narrative expertly drew me in until I was right alongside both the police officer's and suspect's points of view, straining to decipher where the real world ended and trauma-induced illusions took over.

I do recommend reading the related earlier novel, but it's not necessary for enjoyment of this well-developed story.

Bravo Mrs. Nowell Butler on a job well done!
Profile Image for Books and Spoons.
1,613 reviews28 followers
November 1, 2016
An engaging and intriguing murder mystery of a Canadian political figure, that flows easily off the pages and pulls the reader into the world crimes, scandal, and racial adversity, and human tragedy.
Solving of the crime is filled with details of the police procedures Canadian style. I liked the setting of the tale, the new aspects it gives to a crime reader, as everything is not the same as it is in the States. The development of the investigation has its twists, more uncertainty brought on by well-timed switching of the point of view. The story is told in the first person, by both Sally and Danny.
The characters are developed, with very normal human characteristics making them easy to relate to. Both Sally and Danny are tortured, broken souls, they past keeping a hold of them with the hunting losses, making grief and heartache a constant companion.
The racism against the Native Americans is an important part of the story, bringing out awareness, and adding tension to the tale. Even though the murder is what brought the cast of characters together, it is not all that the story focus on. The characters lives, relationships, the past and future hopes are all measured and weighted.
The book is a sequel to the novel Broken But Not Dead yet can be read as a stand-alone story. A very informing and detail oriented tale, you feel like you learn about the culture, the people, and the procedure. It is a thought-provoking story which behind solving the crime gives a window to the life of the characters while shining the light on heavy social issues from racism towards Native Americans, to suicide, and to abuse. The enigma of the crime lives on till the end, keeping the suspense high, and the readers engaged.
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Profile Image for Lori L MacLaughlin.
Author 3 books19 followers
October 17, 2016
I didn't have much experience with police procedural murder mysteries when I picked up Matowak: Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler, but the story intrigued me and drew me in. Leland Warner, retired Canadian Minister of National Defense, is found murdered in his home. Corporal Danny Killian, an Aboriginal Canadian with the RCMP, must track down the murderer. One of the suspects is Leland's long-suffering wife, Sally. The story is told in first person from Sally's and Corporal Killian's points of view.

As the story unfolds against the backdrop of the murder investigation, the reader is sucked into the lives of these psychologically damaged people. Beaten down by years of emotional abuse, Sally hasn't recovered from the recent, devastating murder/suicide of her sons, while Corporal Killian drowns beneath a flood of guilt and pain associated with his wife's murder. Killian also has to deal with personal and professional racial discrimination.

Matowak is much more than a highly detailed police procedural mystery. It's a haunting portrayal of two forlorn souls trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. I kept wishing that Fate had dealt them both better hands.

Highly recommended for any reader who likes murder mysteries, police procedurals, and/or psychological thrillers.

***This review is for an advanced reader copy.***
Profile Image for Jo.
1,448 reviews11 followers
October 16, 2016
I am very firmly lodged on the horns of a dilemma. You may ask why (or you may simply decide you have better things to do and stop reading at this point). The answer is that I couldn't finish this book, so it is a DNF, but my conflict arises with the fact that I genuinely don't think that this was badly written.

Let me try and explain. I scheduled this book for review by a certain date. That is the expectation from the author in return for a review. I started reading well in advance, so that I would have time to think about the story. But, the story just never grabbed me. The pacing of the narrative didn't assist, although I can see how this was an effective tool for maintaining the uncertainty.

The characters have depth, and there is a clearly intriguing mystery to be solved, as well as some significant personal issues to be dealt with. The connection with me, as a reader, simply wasn't there.

And this is the crux of the issue. I expect, had I significantly more time, that I would have returned to this book and finished it. However, as I don't, I'm afraid I didn't.

This book is, however, garnering good reviews, so I am likely to be a blip in an otherwise enthusiastic landscape.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Patricia Stoltey.
Author 7 books96 followers
October 19, 2016
Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler is set in Canada. The novel is told from two points of view, a technique that worked well for building suspense. One POV character is RCMP Corporal Danny Killian who’s suffering from the as-yet unsolved murder of his wife, a case on which he’s not allowed to work. The second POV character is Sally Warner, the wife of murder victim Leland Warner who was a retired Minister of National Defense. Sally is the chief suspect, but there’s not a speck of evidence for Danny to use for an arrest. Sally is also suffering emotionally because her two adult sons died more than a year ago but the pain is fresh, as it would be for most mothers who outlive their children.

Joylene Nowell Butler builds suspense throughout the novel as she follows each of the characters through their routines and their emotional upheavals. Contemporary cultural issues such as suicide and ethnic prejudice are woven into the story without overwhelming the murder investigation. I was very close to the end of the novel before I felt I knew who the killer was, and I read the final chapters pretty fast to find out how the crime was committed.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,393 reviews175 followers
October 19, 2016
4/5 Stars!

Spoiler Free Review

A fascinating murder mystery with intriguing characters, twists and turns in every chapter and an undertone of racial tension, Matowak Woman Who Cries is a page turner that will suck you in.

A fascinating crime procedural, the writing is engaging and well-thought out. Plot development is eased along appropriately with a dash of foreshadowing thrown in here and there. I am not an expert by any means, but I appreciated the care the author so clearly took in addressing the racial tensions between the opposing characters.

I highly recommend this clever and engaging mystery!
Profile Image for Mason.
Author 1 book21 followers
November 2, 2016
With a dysfunctional family at the core, author Joylene Nowell Butler skillfully crafts a suspenseful murder mystery with teeth.
Her characters are a diverse group, well-developed, likable, and easy for readers to relate to and understand. The varied emotions of the characters can easily be felt through the author’s rich descriptions.
The setting adds depth to the story. With numerous twists and turns, the story moves along smoothly and at a good pace. The story opens with a bang and doesn’t let up until the shocking last page.
Throughout the story the author deals with major issues such as verbal and physical abuse in families, racial elements, as well as grief and blame over the loss of a loved one. The tough issues mixed with police procedures and numerous light moments makes this a well-balanced read.
Mâtowak Woman Who Cries pulls you in quickly and then you don’t want to let go until you know the real truth. The characters linger long after the story ends. A fascinating read that will stir your emotions. This is a follow-up to BROKEN BUT NOT DEAD, but can be read on its own.
FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the author and publisher. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Profile Image for Lynelle Clark.
Author 26 books163 followers
March 16, 2017
I received this book from the author for an honest review.

Written in the first person we are confronted with the life of a prominent figure in the political sphere of Canada where winter and snow the permanent backdrop of this crime thriller adding to the difficulties of the widow and investigating officer.
The characters were believable: each with their unique intrigues that supports the story line perfectly.
Matowak is the perfect name for the book describing the woman's turmoil after her recent loss. Suddenly she was not only the widow but the prime suspect in a murder investigation. The author gives you a glimpse of her thoughts and reactions and I really felt sorry for this woman that has lost more that just a husband.
This of course didn't make the investigation easy since Danny had to sif through all the evidence to determine the killer's motive. Dealing with his own turmoil he could relate in many ways to the older woman and even had to struggle against what the evidence revealed and the person who committed the crime.
The moral issues were at the forefront and you were pulled into this story with which the author has written it; heartfelt and compassion.
Truly a great story that will keep you paging till the very end. The flow is perfect and the story nicely developed to make this an excellent read.
Profile Image for Toi Thomas.
Author 16 books70 followers
December 21, 2017
This review is for the audio release with narrator, James Newcome.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. Because I listened to the audio book, I feel a separate assessment is needed for each the story and the presentation. Also, since I’m reviewing this products months after my initial experience, some of my thoughts may no longer be relevant.

The story- Well, I was a bit bummed to realize there was a first part to the story of the main character. If I had realized that, I would have read the first book before listening to this one. With that said, the way the author wrote this book, the reader didn’t need to read the first book to follow what’s happening in this one (it would have simply been nice background information into one character).

This story beckons to the days of the Dragnet TV show, for anyone who actually remembers that. It was already in its second syndication when I watched it on late-night TV. This story is a no-fluff police procedural that moves slow, but constantly pulls at your subconscious. The writer has a way of leaving clues or questions in the air, unspoken, that the reader feels compelled to solve or answer thus pushing them to read or listen more.

The main character brings with him two subplots that offer the reader a bit of reprieve from the case at hand. It is a case of murder with political intrigue and family drama that slowly unfolds. Our hero detective, Danny, is stressed to find the killer of a political leader no one really misses while dealing with his desire to solve a possible serial killer case and cope with the unsolved murder of his wife. Being the only native officer around doesn’t help matters either.

I love the layers of this story. It’s a reflection of reality. It shows how time doesn’t stop when someone dies. People don’t get to take a break just because they are tired or even deserving. This is a hard, harsh, and cold world, and we must keep moving forward. This is a sad and solemn story, but it’s not without its glimmers of hope.

The presentation- I enjoyed the presentation, but there were some flaws in the production. I think Newcome did a wonderful job using voice, tone, and inflection to distinguish characters and set the mood of each scene. There’s nothing inherently feminine about his voice, but he’s good. You never doubt who speaking even when bouncing back and forth between male and female characters in the same conversation.

There were a few times when a transition might have been needed but the scene wasn’t cut properly, thus causing an unnatural pause in the text or dialog. It only happened once or twice and this didn’t ruin my experience, but I do remember it. Also, there were one or two times when the actor’s cough wasn’t properly cut out of the recording.

Overall, the story was a 5, the presentation a 3.5-4, and so I give this audio book a 4. Highly recommended to fans of crime dramas.

I won a digital download of this audio book from Dancing Lemur Press, which has in no way affected my review of this product.
Profile Image for Kathleen Kelly.
1,290 reviews106 followers
November 26, 2016
Woman who Cries The story starts out with the murder of Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner. His wife become a suspect but the Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal police officer, is tasked with figuring out how she was able to not leave any clues. All fingers point to her, especially as the reader learns about her marriage and life as a mother of two son's. These son's were involved in a murder, suicide prior to the start of this story. What kind of a family were the Warner's, what kind of secrets were there to this obviously dysfunctional family? The reader slowly makes the way through the quagmire that this murder has left behind. I really did not care for Sally Warner at the beginning of the book, I felt that she was definitely a weak woman, but as the story went on, I changed my mind about her because she actually surprised me. Not that she was a suspect in her husbands murder but that her character seemed to get stronger as the story moved along. Even though this is the sequel to Broken but not Dead, which tells the story of the murder, suicide of the Warner son's, this book was very readable. The reader also learns about Corporal Killian's past, which includes the murder of his wife. So the two storylines are intertwined to tell a very interesting cultural tale of suspense. A definite pageturner. I really enjoyed it. This review is voluntary
Profile Image for Kathleen Kelly.
1,290 reviews106 followers
November 26, 2016
The story starts out with the murder of Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner. His wife become a suspect but the Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal police officer, is tasked with figuring out how she was able to not leave any clues. All fingers point to her, especially as the reader learns about her marriage and life as a mother of two son's. These son's were involved in a murder, suicide prior to the start of this story.

What kind of a family were the Warner's, what kind of secrets were there to this obviously dysfunctional family? The reader slowly makes the way through the quagmire that this murder has left behind. I really did not care for Sally Warner at the beginning of the book, I felt that she was definitely a weak woman, but as the story went on, I changed my mind about her because she actually surprised me. Not that she was a suspect in her husbands murder but that her character seemed to get stronger as the story moved along. Even though this is the sequel to Broken but not Dead, which tells the story of the murder, suicide of the Warner son's, this book was very readable.

The reader also learns about Corporal Killian's past, which includes the murder of his wife. So the two storylines are intertwined to tell a very interesting cultural tale of suspense. A definite pageturner. I really enjoyed it.

This review is voluntary
Profile Image for LAWonder10.
948 reviews737 followers
February 9, 2017
While grieving from the tragic death of her two sons, Sally Warner was now forced to discover the bloody body of her husband on the kitchen floor! Numb with shock and grief, she called 911 and kept her distance from the body. She had talked with him only a couple of hours ago! How can this be. Now she had no one left.
Corporal Killian was assigned to the murder investigation of former Cabinet member, Leland Warner. The pressure was intense in this high profile case. Every lead seemed to go nowhere. Was he given this case because his new department was sure he would fail? Could he keep himself objective and not allow the grieving, sweet widow to look to him for friendship?
This is a tale of beaurocracy, mystery, family dysfunction, prejudice with a touch of romance. The story is steadily paced and has several twists. The characters are realistically developed and the scenes are created in an easily visualized manner.
It was hard for me to "get into" at first but soon I was able to put it all together. The Title fit but it and the cover image is not eye-catching to the "browser". The Cover is not a great "fit " for the story.
*Reader Beware, there is some profanity and slight sexual situations.
 **I was gifted this book but am under no obligation to do a positive review. 
I offer a Three and a Half Stars rating for this book
Profile Image for Stephanie Faris.
Author 13 books89 followers
November 14, 2016
In Matowak: Woman Who Cries, a woman suddenly finds her husband dead of a gunshot wound in their kitchen. Because he's the retired Minister of National Defense, the list of suspects is long...and it includes his grieving widow, Sally. She has lost so much, you can't help but feel for her while at the same time wondering if she really did have something to do with it. If you are one of the many people (like me!) who like police procedurals, this is a book you'll LOVE.
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