Who would have the absurd idea to go and settle in the depths of Canada, in the northeast of Quebec? Where the temperature can drop to minus forty and where winter lasts more than eight months. However, this is exactly where Henri Devereaux and Elizabeth Swann will decide to spend part of their lives. In Jasperville, also nicknamed “J’espoir-ville”, in the Innu, Inuit and Métis territories. The whites, attracted by the iron ore, seized these treasures. A village of pioneers with its main street, its school, its vet, its general store, its identical housing for the workers.
A city where Canadian Iron reigns supreme. A paternalistic company, concerned about the welfare of its employees. To the point of sending Canada Iron’s housing manager to greet the new arrivals as they get off the train. His name is Wilson Gaines and he even came with Robert, his little boy. A polite man selling an image of epinal, a taste of what the company offers its employees. Warmth and attention to compensate for a rough environment.
RJ Ellory is knowledgeable. A Season for Shadows is proof of that. The plot takes place both in the 60s/70s and today. There are the Devereaux parents who belong to the past. Two of his sons, Jack and Calvis, represent the present. Calvis freaked out and ended up in Jasperville jail after trying to kill a town. Jack, who left this lost hole more than twenty years ago, is therefore forced to return. Back, at least. He has a bad conscience. He had promised to pick it up. He broke his word. He left behind his younger brother, but also Carine, his childhood sweetheart. And other memories, less pleasant, like the deaths of these teenagers.
Deaths never explained and easily attributed to bears or wolves. The hostile nature would therefore be the explanation of everything. Jack, who works as an arson investigator in Montreal, will use his professional knowledge to find out who really killed these girls. And so try to understand why his brother sank into this black hole covered by frozen snow. For the reader, it is enough to shiver with pleasure.
A season of shadows by JR Ellory, translated by Étienne Gomez, Éditions Sonatine, 408 pages, 25 euros.
Source : Le JDD