A Tan­gled Web

The Pilot - - Editorial - — Harold Wal­ters lives Hap­pily Ever Af­ter in Dunville, in the only Cana­dian prov­ince with its own time zone. How cool is that? Reach him at gh­wal­ters663@gmail.com

Sgt. Win­ston Wind­flower — star­ring Adam Beach in my nog­gin — has been sta­tioned at the RCMP de­tach­ment in Grand Bank ever since he came to New­found­land five books ago.

In “A Tan­gled Web,” (Baico Pub­lish­ing), the sixth Sgt. Wind­flower ad­ven­ture, he’s still there.

And you know what? I’m still hav­ing trou­ble not think­ing of him as Sgt. “Wild­flower.”

To com­pli­cate mat­ters, the book I read im­me­di­ately be­fore “A Tan­gled Web” was a Drew Bar­ry­more mem­oir called … get this! … “Wild­flower.”

Imag­ine how many times I tripped over Wince’s sur­name as I read “Tan­gled Web.” More than 10.

An Am­ber Alert is­sued for Sarah Quilan is the story’s ini­tial cri­sis. Sarah may have fallen in a Grand Bank brook and been car­ried out to sea. Or she may have been ab­ducted.

Lis­ten. Don’t worry too much about Sarah. She’s ac­ci­dently barred in the back of a truck heading for the Ar­gen­tia ferry.

On the other hand, the truck driver — Solly Flynn — is a wanted killer, so I sup­pose you should worry.

That’s all I’m say­ing for now be­cause it’s time for a lunch. I’m back; belly full.

The characters in this gem­dandy “Wind­flower” series eat more than the crowd at Bob Cratchit’s Christmas din­ner.

I know I’ve re­marked on this point be­fore and I prom­ise not to do so again — un­less I for­get. You can’t ban­ish a man for break­ing a prom­ise he doesn’t re­mem­ber, eh b’ys?

Not that they’ve for­got­ten Sarah, but Sgt. Wild ... frig! … Wind­flower and his col­leagues are gath­ered at the Mug-Up hav­ing a … well, you know.

Cor­po­ral Ed­die Tiz­zard, noted for his bot­tom­less stom­ach, tells of “some chick­pea thing” he had to eat while re­cently vis­it­ing his honey in Ot­tawa. He ad­mits he had to poke it down.

I bet I know what he ate — hum­mus!

Some peo­ple love its taste. Not Ed­die.

Sure, some peo­ple love the taste of pease pud­ding. Not this scrib­bler.

So there.

I was wrong to say you shouldn’t worry about Sarah Quinlan. As it turns out, she’s in the clutches of a known killer. Also, a dead body is dis­cov­ered at Goo­bies, a pop­u­lar truck stop where Solly Flynn stops for a … well, for a lunch.

Let’s see. Sarah is miss­ing. Solly Flynn is a trucker-slash­mur­derer. This seem to be enough on Sgt. Wild … frig! ... Wind­flower’s — dare I say it? — on Wind­flower’s plate.

Of course, it isn’t. Be­fore long, Sgt. Wind­flower learns that Brent Quinlan, Sarah’s father, has been dis­cov­ered dead in a snow­bank.

The plot thick­ens, to quote a phrase.

Sgt. Wild … frig! frig! dou­ble frig! … Wind­flower is a Cree from Pink Lake, Al­berta — which is why Saulteaux ac­tor Adam Beach fits per­fectly playing him in my nog­gin.

From his Cree rel­a­tives — Un­cle Frank and Aun­tie Marie — Wind­flower has learned much about the mys­te­ri­ous­ness of dream weav­ing, abil­ity he has in­her­ited.

As a dream weaver Sgt. Wind­flower can — in dreams at least — com­mu­ni­cate with an­i­mals. Moose, for in­stance. Speak­ing of moose, see this line from “A Tan­gled Web”: “The moose is a pow­er­ful sym­bol in many cul­tures. It is known to be a source of wis­dom and longevity. It also rep­re­sents the pow­er­ful side of fem­i­nine en­ergy.”

An aside: The contents of this quo­ta­tion might be some­thing to keep in mind the next time you see one of those lug­gage­faced bloody nui­sances stand­ing among the alders.

In the book, Sgt. Wil…ha! ... Wind­flower, talks to a spirit moose who, in a vague, spirit moose way, cau­tions him about the pos­si­bil­ity of fu­ture blood­shed. “Tell me what you see,” says Sgt. Wind­flower.

“I see two paths,” says the moose. “But there are no tracks on them yet.”

Wise or not, that an­swer would make you say a bad word, eh b’ys?

Any­way… even­tu­ally Cor­po­ral Tiz­zard — Moun­tie on the trail of his man, so to speak — is in Lark Har­bour clos­ing in on an armed felon.

Sus­pense.

The plot con­tin­ues to thicken to the con­sis­tency of moose stew at the Mug-Up. Be­fore the story ends, be­fore the tan­gled web is com­pletely spun, a Grand Bank man is found dead on his kitchen floor with a butcher knife in his chest.

“A Tan­gled Web” is the finest kind of a mys­tery novel. It will en­ter­tain you in your Lay-Z-Boy or — as is the case with Stg. Wind­flower at one point — stogged in a snow­drift half­way down the Burin Penin­su­lar High­way.

Thank you for read­ing.

Harold Wal­ters Book Re­marks

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