Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review: Winter Soon, by David Michael Martin

I guess I should preface this by mentioning the author of Winter Soon is my maternal grandfather. That little fact had an interesting effect on my reading, to say in the least.

It's always interesting to read something written by somebody you know. For everything you know about a person, or have talked about with a person, there's a lot going on behind the scenes. Maybe some of that is pulled back, with all of our microinstantblogging social network extravaggrandizement (I might trademark that phrase, be warned), maybe not. We have our public face and our private face, and our family face.

 (cover art by Marina Ermakova-Martin, linked from Amazon)

But. Winter Soon. This novel takes place in the 70's, in Northern Maine. It's something of a detective-y story, not necessarily my usual fare, but opens with a trio of friends on a fishing trip. Something Happens, resulting in a murder, and the book is in three acts: The Event, The Investigation, and Aftermath.

Even though I knew what happened, The Investigation was still intriguing. The interplay of small town politics and family politics is strong and also frustrating, as such things are. Not "just" a murder investigation or police procedural or what have you (I have a hard time quantifying the genre of my own books, would my grandfather's be any different?), the characters are more than bit parts, and have drives other than just what we the readers see as the central story.

Interestingly, this is the only thing of my grandfather's I've read, though I do hope to read more (as one might assume). I don't know if I can claim to be entirely satisfied by the ending, but that might be a little better. It's stuck with me and made me think about it at random times, and when I wasn't reading it, I wanted to be.



  1. What a cool experience. Did he write a lot of books? Is he still alive?

    1. He is still alive, though I don't know how many books he's written. Many short stories, I think, including one that won an award (that of course I don't know the title of or where/when it was published or what the award was....)