Michael Melgaard is the author of the short story collection Pallbearing. His writing has appeared in Best Canadian Stories anthology, as well as Joyland, Lithub, and elsewhere. He is a former book columnist for the National Post. Originally from Vancouver Island, he currently lives in Toronto.
Not That Kind of Place
By Michael Melgaard
Published by House of Anansi Press
In May 1997, eighteen-year-old Laura McPherson left her house for a run and didn’t return …
Twenty years later, a reporter arrives in the small town of Griffiths to write an article about the unsolved murder of Laura McPherson. He is the most recent in a long line of journalists, podcasters, and amateur sleuths seeking new insights into what really happened to Laura.
Laura’s younger brother, David, a repressed and stuck thirty-something, is dealing with the recent death of his mother when the reporter comes knocking. The last surviving family member, David has lived a sheltered life, protected from the prying eyes of the media by his mother. But David cannot escape the past forever, and soon finds himself confronting the lasting impact of his sister’s death. As David learns more about his sister and the history of Griffiths, his eyes are opened to the casual violence, misogyny, and racism that lurk just below the surface of his seemingly placid community.
Provocative and haunting, Not That Kind of Place is a literary anti-mystery, a compelling exploration of our obsession with true-crime stories and the devastating effects of systemic violence on our most vulnerable populations.