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We Were the Salt of the Sea

Published Date: 7th August 2017

Available in


28 February 2018
28 February 2018


As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation.

On Quebec’s outlying Gaspé Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves. Interviews drift into idle chit-chat, evidence floats off with the tide and the truth lingers in murky waters. It’s enough to make DS Morales reach straight for a large whisky…
Both a dark and consuming crime thriller and a lyrical, poetic ode to the sea, We Were the Salt of the Sea is a stunning, page-turning novel, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.


It’s moving yet funny, it’s a poem of a crime novel, it’s a sea shanty of a love story, all rolled into one. We Were the Salt of Sea snares you in its nets and cries out to be read all in one go. La Presse


Colourful, savoury, authentic characters with the kind of flavour that can only be inspired by real locals. So good it’ll make you want to pack your bags and drive straight to the seaside. Journal de Montréal


Need to escape the madding crowds and turn your back on the concrete jungle? Getting the urge to sail away and feel the sea breeze on your face? Just dive right in to We Were the Salt of the Sea. Le Devoir


There’s a fine line between the search for self and the origins of our very existence. As a police investigation gets nowhere fast, lies abound and skeletons emerge from the closet. Meanwhile, love blossoms and withers away in every nook and cranny. Le Devoir


A novel that draws its light from the sea on a summer’s afternoon. Coup de pouce


Their words are crude, since the characters know the horizon hides nothing more than the waves that roll in just as surely as they fleet away again. L’Action


The end result? A crime novel that isn’t really a crime novel. Les Québécoises


There’s no doubt the key protagonist in this novel of many secrets is the sea. She’s as fickle as she is steady, as unforgiving as she is subdued and as vindictive as she is seductive. Nuit Blanche


A delightful mingling of poetry, mystery and humour amidst some greatly endearing characters. La Nouvelle


These characters ooze so much authenticity you know you’ll find others just like them propping up the bar in any of the fishing villages along this coast… We Were the Salt of the Sea is a whale of a tale. Quebec Reads


Ten years or so ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gaspé Peninsula. The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. We Were the Salt of the Sea is her fifth novel, and her first to be translated into English. She lives in Quebec.


David Warriner translates from French and nurtures a healthy passion for Franco, Nordic and British crime fiction. Growing up in deepest Yorkshire, he developed incurable Francophilia at an early age. Emerging from Oxford with a modern languages degree, he narrowly escaped the graduate rat race by hopping on a plane to Canada – and never looked back. More than a decade into a high-powered commercial translation career, he listened to his heart and turned his hand again to the delicate art of literary translation. David has lived in France and Quebec, and now calls beautiful British Columbia home.

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