With “The Spying Moon” (Down & Out Books) does one thing quite different than most police procedurals, Sandra Ruttan balances several different mysteries successfully throughout the book. The novel focuses on Constable Kendall Moreau, a rookie in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Assigned to a small town just north of the U.S. border, Moreau joined a taskforce in Milk River to investigate the drug problem in the town.
“The Spying Moon” starts out a bit slow as Ruttan describes each individual task force member through Moreau’s eyes using allusion to different animals such as a pit bull, Jack Russell, or gerbil. I shouldn’t complain too much as Ruttan’s attention to detail brings some spark into the typicalness of a police procedural.
A problem I had with “The Spying Moon” was the setup of having Moreau lock and loaded to investigate the disappearance of her mother but being waylaid in Milk River. This vendetta trope is a bit overplayed in the police procedural and I believe “The Spying Moon” would have been better without.
Moreau is a member of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples which gives “The Spying Moon” an interesting perspective throughout. Moreau gives readers a different look at policing and problems with diversity, racism, and sexism within the department and society. Ruttan crafted a good mystery that fans of police procedurals will love.