Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth


The Whole Entire Complete Truth, by Caroline Rennie Pattison

Canadian/YA/Mystery

The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth is billed as a "Sarah Martin Mystery". As far as I can tell, it is the only Sarah Martin Mystery. So one assumes this is the first in a, perhaps unwaranted, series. Don't get me wrong, it was an alright book. But, I can't see people waiting in line for the next. The prose is somewhat stilted, the descriptions lacking, the characters underdeveloped, the plot lacking certain elements of logic - the book just feels a little amateurish.

Sarah Martin is a girl from Mississauga who has been moved to Muskoka by her father, a police detective, who wanted to get away from the city. As an aside, I really wanted more scenic flavour - this was Autumn in Muskoka, a truly glorious season, but it could have been spring in Arkansas for all the description we got. Told in the form of a report written by Sarah for her father, the reader follows Sarah, her brother Roy, and her new friend Mindi, as they uncover a bear poaching and illegal trade plot. (Don't worry, I haven't just spoiled everything).. The idea is interesting and timely, in that Canada has one of the world's largest remaining bear populations which is, indeed, being diminished by poachers who sell bear bile, gall bladders, and hands to the asian blackmarket where they are used in medicines. This plot point and the danger in which the young characters find themselves makes the story gripping. However, there are certain holes in the plot, such as Sarah's huge fear of telling her father that she has disobeyed him in the face of her willingness to face huge danger as she spies and snoops and discovers the plot, make the story a little tenuous. I never quite bought it. Sure, I wanted to find out what happened, but it was never real enough that I truly cared.

This will be more appealing to younger teens and perhaps even tweens, I think. But, I can't see it on any bestseller list. Still, maybe worth a read.

1 comment:

Maggie said...

And besides hasn't that girl/boy with a cop for a father plot been done to death?