Drama among Gaspé fishermen

Passionate about seafarers – she herself has sailed a lot – the talented Roxanne Bouchard offers this summer a second investigation of her irresistible detective Moralès in her new novel, The Coral Bride. The plot takes place in the vicinity of Gaspé, in the world of commercial fishing. A joy to read, where there is as much tension as poetry.

When Joaquin Morales is called to investigate the disappearance of a lobster captain, he hesitates: his son has just arrived home, drunk as a man who has lost everything. But when Angel Roberts’ body is found, it no longer dithers.

The Coral Bride is the second volume in the Morales series, introduced with We were the salt of the sea. At the request of his London editor, who immediately saw the potential of a police series with this character, Roxanne Bouchard plunged back into the world of Morales and the fishermen of the Gaspé to create this second investigation.

The adventure pleased her enormously, especially since she could count on the collaboration of the fishermen of this beautiful region who told her all kinds of anecdotes and answered her technical questions.

“I wanted to talk about the commercial fishermen,” she said in an interview. “I got in touch with fishermen from Gaspé who are doing big commercial fishing. They said, “Come see us, we’ll talk to you.” Which means that I did a lot of interviews. I have been to the Gaspé three times. “

Roxanne has also met women who work in this trade – and there are very few. “I spent a day with a fisherwoman. It was super interesting, what she told me. I met a guy who fishes lobster in Forillon Park, in places where it is very legislated. And I met guys who fish shrimp, on big shrimpers. Deep sea fishing. I find it overturned. “

She collected true stories and her work as a novelist coated them with fiction. It was not at all inspired by the news that had taken place there, for example. “The whole investigation of the dying girl in a wedding dress is fiction. But all the fishing anecdotes are true. “

Real challenges

Writer Joliette recalls that commercial fishing is a real business – not just something picturesque for tourists. “There is jealousy. There is money going on there. There are real economic issues. In 1992, there was a moratorium on cod fishing in the Gaspé. It hurt them. In the investigation, all of this happens. I added a small historical section. “

Navigator

She found the Gaspé people generous and welcoming … and had no trouble being accepted in the community. “I have already been a crew member on sailing boats. I’ve been doing this for several years and I’ve been on 28 boats in four years. I sailed everywhere on the river, in Chaleur Bay, in the Magdalen Islands. I went south. I did regattas on Lake Champlain. I’ve sailed all over the place. “

She also met O’Neil Poirier while mooring in the harbor of Mont-Louis. “He is a character in my first novel. Whenever I go to the Gaspé, I go to see O’Neil. And when I have fishing questions, I always call him. ”

  • Roxanne Bouchard is an essayist, playwright and novelist.
  • She teaches literature at Cégep de Joliette.
  • She received the Robert Cliche Prize in 2005 and the Grand Prix de la littéraire Archambault in 2007.
  • His fourth novel, We were the salt of the sea, was a finalist for the France-Quebec Literary Prize in 2015 and appeared in London in 2018, in English, at Orenda Books. The Coral Bride will be released in November.
  • The Swiss publishing house Atrium has just acquired the rights in German to the two inquiries by Joaquin Moralès.

EXTRACT

Water soaks the fabric, wets her thighs. The wave rounds to the right height, the current is calculated. No complaints, this is a well planned death. Everything is there: the wedding dress, the lobster boat and that elusive moon path that it borrows like a fish is trapped in a copper bait. “We cling to fairy lures, my daughter, because we have the dreamy faith of the damned of the sea.” Her mother was right, but she doesn’t regret anything.

– Roxanne Bouchard, The Coral Bride, Éditions Libre Expression

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