THE DEVIL’S MAKING by Sean Haldane
I knew I’d be writing a review by the middle of THE DEVIL’S MAKING by Sean Haldane because it’s a fascinating story. Sadly the moment passed when I could write knowledgeably about the story, but I’m unwilling to let it go. Everyone should read this book!
THE DEVIL’S MAKING won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel (2014).
The book opens in 1868 when Chad Hobbs travels from Britain to the tiny outpost of Victoria, capital of British Columbia. The trip takes four months because they must travel around Tierra del Fuego, the southern tip of South America. This is but one of the many “oddities” of life in the late 19th century and it doesn’t take long for the reader to feel like they belong to those rough and muddy times.
Chad becomes a policeman who must solve the murder of a local man. Naturally the townsfolk are quick to blame a native Indian and incarcerate him, but Chad is unwilling to accept such a “desirable” outcome without more facts.
One of the story’s joys is Chad’s philosophical understanding of what he discovers and what this means about life. Although I’ve never been much interested in history, I found this book delightful.