Can taking the law into your own hands be the right thing to do
A brutal murder in a small fishing community raises urgent questions of right and wrong, and even the nature of good and evil, in this masterfully told true story.
In June 2013, three upstanding citizens of a small town in Nova Scotia cold-bloodedly murdered their neighbour, Phillip Boudreau, at sea. While out checking their lobster traps, two Landry cousins and skipper Dwayne Samson saw Boudreau in his boat, the Midnight Slider, about to vandalize their lobster traps. Like so many times before, Boudreau was about to cost them thousands of dollars out of their seasonal livelihood. One man took out a rifle and fired four shots at Boudreau and his boat. Boudreau’s body was never found.
Boudreau was an inventive small-time criminal who had terrorized and entertained Petit de Grat for two decades. He had been in prison for nearly half his adult life. He was funny and frightening, loathed, loved, and feared. Meanwhile the police and the Fisheries officers were frustrated, cowed, and hobbled by shrinking budgets. Boudreau seemed invincible, a miscreant who would plague the village forever. As many people said, if those fellows hadn’t killed him, someone else would have.
Blood in the Water is a gripping story in a brilliantly drawn setting, about power and law, security and self-respect, and the nature of community. And at its heart is a disturbing question: are there times when taking the law into your own hands is not only understandable but the responsible thing to do?
Blood in The Water is a gripping, insightful account of small town murder and asks the question can such actions ever be justified?
The author takes us right into the lives of this community, painting a realistic and vivid picture of both victim and perpetrators- an intricately detailed sense of the place where they live and right at the heart of it a morality tale of how actions have consequences.
The victim in this case is no angel, those who took a life that day pretty much at the end of their tethers. Through the first hand accounts of the community and a front row seat at the ensuing trials, Blood In The Water is beautifully crafted and completely addictive. Whether justice is ultimately served in this case will almost certainly be in the eyes of the beholder and the author makes no judgments but offers both fact and interpretation.
Sadly Silver Donald Cameron passed away in 2020. I’ll have to read his other work but as a swan song I imagine Blood In The Water will stand the test of time- not only because it is so incredibly well written and full of journalistic insight but because the questions it asks of society are eternal.