Reviews for Wildwoods Child

5.0 out of 5 stars
Detective with a Cause

ByJulia Schneider    August 30, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
In a genre that generally reinforces the status quo, with a crime committed, a miscreant exposed, and justice done, Diane Gillespie’s Wildwoods Child is a detective mystery with a difference. Not only does it feature a detective who has Metis blood, but it also focuses on crime against aboriginal women, a group that has notoriously been ignored by what has been criticized as Canada’s “Just-Us” system.

RCMP Constable Nora Macpherson is new to the force, but it doesn’t take her long to discover the limitations of her first posting at Moose Forks, in British Columbia’s Skeena River basin. Her sergeant, Jack Wasniki, wants her to look ladylike while giving her jobs a temp could do as well, thus controlling her professional activities. Her days are taken up as much by frustration at his stereotyping as investigative work. But her refusal to accept the status quo in town leads to the uncovering of some very unsavory realities.

Gillespie is particularly good at describing a part of northern B.C. she clearly knows well, creating intricate plots built around real-life situations and crimes, and conveying the roadblocks and conflict faced by professional women such as Nora and her friend, teacher Abby Clarke. The story takes place in the 1970’s, a time of rapid change and reaction to it, and both of these women are up against a thoroughly entrenched old boys’ network. How they manage to cope and conquer in this “too true to be good” environment is at once believable and worthy of a heartfelt cheer.

Wildwoods Child offers great suspense and lots of surprises. It also depicts one of the most satisfying deliveries of swift justice ever seen in a detective novel. I look forward to the next installment of Gillespie’s Lost Women series to read more from the files of a genuinely exciting new detective.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Gillespie is a good writer with excellent command of dialogue and the ability to write with feeling about victimized women

By Linda Ann Breault   on May 15, 2016

Format: Paperback
There is a strong sense of place in this mystery novel set along the Highway of Tears in northwest British Columbia where 18 women and girls have disappeared and been murdered since 1969.
The characters are well drawn and they depict the dilemma and resistance of the time to acknowledge violence against women, particularly native women, in this region. The main character, Constable Nora Macpherson, one of the first female RCMP officers, is initially thrilled to be posted to this small community of Moose Forks. She soon finds out that those in positions of power are connected in some way and conspire to protect their own. Nora discovers her personal strength as she challenges biases and small town politics to uncover crimes both present and past.
Gillespie is a good writer with excellent command of dialogue and the ability to write with feeling about victimized women.
I’m looking forward to the next book in the series of the Lost Women.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Story! A Worthy Read!
By Amazon Customer   on August 1, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Amazing story with great character development and realistic portrayal of life in small town northern BC in the '70's. The writer does a fantastic job of bringing you into the time and place, with a wonderfully descriptive narrative that allows you to really feel like you're there. I really look forward to the rest of the books to see how the author brings it all together.

5.0 out of 5 stars
When will we do more than pay passing lip-service to the problem of Aboriginal Women disappearing?
By M Bendsen   on May 20, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Great start to a series of mysteries highlighting disappearing aboriginal women in northern B.C. The characters are identifiable and life in small town rural Northern BC is accurately depicted. Definitely a recommended read which through an entertaining action filled adventure made me aware of the comparative treatment of missing persons of differing backgrounds.


5.0 out of 5 stars  Wildwoods Child  June 7 2016  By Amazon Customer

This review is from: Wildwoods Child (The Lost Women Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Wildwoods Child is a must read for anyone wishing to get a sense of northern British Columbia in the late 1970s. Gillespie’s writing captures the vast ruggedness of its wilderness and the changing values of that time.
The story tells of a family living on a remote farm dominated by a man with a belief in his own authority. A belief shared by the male elite of the nearest town. A belief which two young professional women feel compelled to challenge to protect a vulnerable girl.
Gillespie creates engaging female characters with whom the reader can empathize; Nora the policewoman who is committed to the RCMP but struggles with the isolation of her role, Abby the teacher who is torn by her traditional view of marriage and her need to assert herself and Tess the young girl who wants to be safe yet yearns for the wilderness lifestyle.
A mysterious corpse poses many unanswered questions and introduces Gillespie’s deep concern for missing aboriginal women. Gillespie’s debut novel tells a compelling tale which builds to a dramatic climax in which the wilderness and natural justice prevail.

C. Bateman
5 June 2016

Book Launch for Wildwoods Child June25, 2015

My good friend Dick Waller graciously offered to introduce me. He also read my draft and provided invaluable insight into the workings of the RCMP.

Introduction by R.H. (Dick) Waller, Supt. Ret., RCMP
I have the honour and pleasure to introduce you to the author of Wildwoods Child and my good friend, Dianne Gillespie.

I met Dianne a year and a half ago when she approached me to talk about the integration of female police officers into the RCMP in the mid 1970’s.  We particularly discussed the unique problems that had to be overcome by the newly minted female officers and also by their male counterparts and supervisors.

We had a frank discussion about the real life issues experienced by the female members and the deeply ingrained male perspective of this para military organization. The RCMP history goes back to the 1870’s and the taming of the Canadian west and the opening of it up for settlement.  Those male attitudes died hard in the minds of many hard-nosed senior NCO’s and as well with the expectations of less senior male members.

Dianne and I also discussed the life of an RCMP Officer in small detachments during the 1970’s which I had experienced during my early career with the Force.

Wild Woods Child is, in my mind, a novel that needed to be written to bring attention to the ongoing issue of missing aboriginal and other women on the infamous highway of tears in northern British Columbia, as well as similar missing and murdered women elsewhere in Canada.

Wild Woods Child is written from the perspective of a junior, female member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  In the novel, the RCMP member is portrayed as a member of that first troop of 32 female members who graduated from the Forces Training Depot in Regina during the mid 1970’s.  The book documents the prejudice these young women faced from the public and their fellow members as they pioneered a new phase in the history of Canada’s Federal Police Force.

The book documents the life of young RCMP members in one of the hundreds of small detachments across this country where police work was often done by instinct and innovative methods and where the support that was enjoyed in larger centres was often hours away and sometimes non existent. 

Dianne has also documented the petty politics that can exist in small communities and how that can taint and hinder the administration of justice, particularly from the perspective of young, impressionable officers.

Dianne has called upon her knowledge of northern British Columbia communities and her research into the realm of the “highway of tears”.  Additionally she chronicles the lives of the young police officers who must deal with these real life issues.  She has put together a thrilling novel that you will find hard to put down until you reach the final chapter.  It will also pique your interest in the upcoming sequels of this trilogy.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the author of Wild Woods Child and my friend, Dianne Gillespie.