THE ADVOCATE 599
VOL. 76 PART 4 JULY 2018
By R.C. Tino Bella*
Full Disclosure, by Beverley McLachlin. Simon and Schuster, 2018.
Paperback; 341 pages. $24.99.
Reviewed by David Roberts, Q.C.
The author simply described on the front cover is, of course, the Right Honourable
Beverley McLachlin, PC, the recently retired and longest-serving
Chief Justice of Canada. Is there anything this lady cannot do? It is said that
she is the only member of the Supreme Court of Canada who knows how to
deliver a calf. She has now published a novel that she wrote, from clues in
the text, some nine or ten years ago. She calls it a novel, but it is really a
thriller. You could even call it a who dunnit.
The book reads so well that you would think that the author had been
writing books for a living all her life. She uses a number of writing techniques
that those who teach creative writing impress upon their students:
character development; creation of tension; an attention-grabbing beginning;
conflict; a credible and compelling plot; writing that is fresh and free
of clichés; and immaculate grammar, spelling and punctuation.
However, there is a quality about this book has that cannot be taught: the
ability to catch the reader’s attention and keep it till the end. The reader is
driven to want to find out what is going to happen next. Technically this is
known as a “page-turner” and it is a quality very difficult to analyze. This
book is a page-turner. Unusually, it is written entirely in the present tense.
This gives the story a strong sense of immediacy.
Good authors use their imagination, and this author does so in spades.
The plot is seriously complicated and the denouement is a really imaginative
surprise, though you eventually realize that there are clues to the ending
sprinkled shrewdly throughout the story.