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The Blue Tattoo 

By Steven Laffoley (Pottersfield)

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Local writer Steven Laffoley's seventh book, and first novel, focuses on the days leading up to the disaster and gruesome events that followed the Halifax Explosion. The bulk of the book focuses on the damages caused by the explosion, including an unnecessarily lengthy 80-plus-page section describing the bloodshed and destruction in gory detail. Most of this will be familiar to readers and Laffoley covers no new ground here. Where the novel succeeds is in the first third, where the social and economic climate of Halifax is explored through the story of a young female medical student from the south end falling for a factory worker from the north. The subtleties of this initial context are pushed aside when the explosion takes place, and the novel devolves into a race against the clock involving a train and some medical supplies. Laffoley creates a highly readable page-turning novel but ultimately nothing new is added to an already well-known story.

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