Evidence of Uncertain Origin
Indie – Book – Review
Book: Evidence of Uncertain Origin
Author: Nikki Everts
Date read: 28/08/2019
Available on: Paperback, Kindle
Buy on: Amazon UK
I received a copy of Evidence of Uncertain Origin by Nikki Everts in exchange for an honest review.
Set in Montreal, Quebec in the summer of 1969, during the Sixth Wave of the FLQ attacks, Evidence of Uncertain Origin gripped me from the start.
I’m an avid mystery genre reader and this book didn’t disappoint me in the slightest.
Sisters Kit, who lives in Toronto, and Sondra come back together after the mysterious death of their grandfather. Sondra believes that he was murdered, possibly by the FLQ, while Kit only humours her theory.
There are twists and turns in this book, where you think you know whodunnit… but then you’re completely shocked that it wasn’t them.
Nikki Everts does a fantastic job of casting doubt on almost every character, to the point that I was almost suspecting Sondra at one point! Evidence of Uncertain Origin seems to be the author’s debut novel and I’m thoroughly impressed. Everts has definitely made my “authors to watch” list. Can’t wait to see more!
Portrayal of Female Characters in Evidence of Uncertain Origin
Kit and Sondra were both extremely likeable. Their personalities were totally different from each other, but one thing was abundantly clear: they loved their grandfather dearly and wanted nothing more than to get to the bottom of his death.
Having a mystery novel set in the 1960s with two strong female protagonists was empowering. While they may have made misguided decisions and sometimes put themselves in dangerous situations, they were brave, daring, and determined. All the qualities you’d want in a role model.
I like that both sisters had such distinct styles and fashion choices. Being set in the 60s meant that Everts had some truly excellent fashion to take inspiration from. I could vividly see a number of Kit’s outfits while I was reading, and found myself wishing I had that kind of fashion sense!
The sisters were so realistic and had a real relationship. They argued and didn’t always see eye to eye. When it really came down to it, though, they were there for each other. Kit and Sondra were sisters. Their family meant everything to the and they were willing to work through anything.
Canada’s Separatist History
Another reason I really liked reading this book was that I’ve recently been on a trip to Montreal. While reading, I was able to vividly picture where they were in the book, which added an extra element of enjoyment.
I thought that bringing such a hard bit of Quebec’s history into a fictional book was an intriguing idea.
Even though I’m Canadian, I didn’t learn a lot about the FLQ (Front de libération du Québec) when I was in school. I pretty much only knew that there was a separatist movement in Quebec during the 60s I had no idea that it was so violent and conducted terrorist attacks.
So, I guess you could say I was a bit shocked when the first letterbox bomb exploded in this novel! And the violence (though it wasn’t overt, a lot was implied) continued to varying degrees throughout Evidence of Uncertain Origin.
If you’re looking for a fictional account of some modern Canadian history, I’d recommend Evidence of Uncertain Origin for sure. I found myself heading to Google some facts and history while reading, so it definitely contributed to my historical knowledge.
Tackling the Hard Issues
Nikki Everts didn’t shy away from touching on some subjects and issues that are harder to talk about.
And I’m not talking about murder and attempted murder!
Sondra has severe anxiety and nightmares. Her family is always there to support and love her. Her husband even asked Kit to come out to help them through the current episode caused by their grandfather’s death.
Narcissism is clearly at play. The handsome director of the war veteran’s nursing home where their grandfather lived was a classic narcissist. Hard to like a character who loves himself as much as this character does… which obviously means he was well-written!
Other topics that came up were Alzheimer’s Disease, PTSD, and LGBTQ+ relationships (a pretty big deal in the 60s). All handled sensitively and with some level of 1960’s understanding.
Overall Thoughts on Evidence of Uncertain Origin
Evidence of Uncertain Origin was a really enjoyable page-turner that I devoured pretty quickly.
The subject matter held my interest, I felt invested in the characters, and I was intrigued by all the sensitive topics the author brought up. For a novel focussed on the FLQ and murder, she wove these subjects throughout in a way of acceptance I wish they were taken in our modern society.
I’d definitely recommend this book to others and hope Nikki Everts continues to write such compelling books.