The Lorenzo Society’s reading series for 2016-2017 will be kicked off, with Debra Komar reading from her newest novel, Black River Road
In recreating a Victorian-era murder that took place in Saint John in the late nineteenth century, esteemed forensic anthropologist and award winning Canadian author Komar’s newest novel sheds new light on a centuries old crime, and explores some contemporary judicial themes.
Komar acknowledges that literature must act as a mirror to society, and stresses the importance of realism in crime writing. “There’s a certain honesty to it,” Komar says “You don’t need to sacrifice realism and authenticity for entertainment.”
In the case of Black River Road, the Ontario native was drawn to the 1869 Saint John crime not because of the act but rather the trial.
“I was just searching for a case where the suspects character was the sole defence”, Komar says. “In this case, there was no psychical evidence. The suspect represented himself, and his character and moral fibre, as his sole defence. I knew Munroe was the story I was looking for.”
Black River Road: True-Crime in Our Own Backyard – Book Review
Komar is the award winning author of The Ballad of Jacob Peck, The Lynching of Peter Wheeler, and most recently, The Bastard of Fort Stikine. As well as being a crime writer, she has been a practicing forensic anthropologist for over twenty years, and a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Komar has worked with the United Nations on human rights violations, and has testified as an expert witness in numerous trials throughout North America, and in The Hague.
The reading, sponsored by the Lorenzo Society, will also feature a Q&A with the author on September 14 at 7:30 at the Mary Oland Theatre in the New Brunswick Museum.