Featured: Matowak: Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler

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A powerful story about the murder of the retired Minister of National Defense, a murder that is enveloped in pain and misery.

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…

Joylene Nowell Butler

Meet Joylene Nowell Butler:

Joylene Nowell Butler is the award-winning author of the suspense novels Dead Witness, Maski: Broken But Not Dead, Break Time, and Matowak: Woman Who Cries. She won the IPPY Silver Medal for Broken But Not Dead in 2012.

Born in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, she is 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 her father was discharged from the Navy, he moved his family from Victoria to Haney, (Maple Ridge) BC. Joylene grew up with horses, cows, pigs, and chickens. A regular tomboy.

Joylene, Metis/Canadian, is a graduate of Simon Fraser University where she majored in English and Philosophy. In 1979, she and her husband Ralph Butler moved their five sons to Prince George, BC.

Thirteen years later, they moved an hour west of the city and built a log/stick house on quiet Cluculz Lake, 36 km east of Vanderhoof.

Twenty-five years later, they sold their home and today spend their time between Bucerias, Nayarat, and Canada’s BC interior.

Review by Kathleen Kelly:

The story starts out with the murder of Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner. His wife becomes a suspect but 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 sons. These sons were involved in a murder, suicide prior to the start of this story.

What kind of a family was 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 husband’s 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 sons, 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 page-turner. I really enjoyed it.

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