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.
About the author
MICHAEL MELGAARD is a writer and editor based in Toronto. His fiction has appeared in Grain, the Puritan, and the Antigonish Review. He was a regular contributor to the National Post’s book section, and he has written articles and criticism for the Millions, the Torontoist, and Canadian Notes & Queries. Pallbearing is his first book.
This is not a conventional who-done-it … The hunt here isn’t so much the search for the murderer, as the revelation of the collective malaise. We don’t live where we think we live. We are not who we think we are.
Not That Kind of Place utterly captivates … David’s journey to understanding is low-key, almost laconic, but this approach only adds power to the narrative, leaving it to the reader to carry the weight of his new understanding. It’s a brilliant approach and a brilliant novel.
Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW
Melgaard is interested in peeling back the placid surface of small-town life to expose the rot and decay beneath.
Not That Kind of Place is almost certainly unlike any murder mystery you’ve read … An amazing work.
Winnipeg Free Press