Red River Girl
A gripping account of the unsolved death of an Indigenous teenager, and the detective determined to find her killer, set against the backdrop of a troubled city. On August 17, 2014, the body of fifteen-year old runaway Tina Fontaine was found in Winnipeg's Red River. It was wrapped in material and weighted down with rocks. Red River Girl is a gripping account of that murder investigation and the unusual police detective who pursued the killer with every legal means at his disposal. The book, like the movie Spotlight, will chronicle the behind-the-scenes stages of a lengthy and meticulously planned investigation. It reveals characters and social tensions that bring vivid life to a story that made national headlines. Award-winning BBC reporter and documentary maker Joanna Jolly delves into the troubled life of Tina Fontaine, the half-Ojibway, half-Cree murder victim, starting with her childhood on the Sagkeeng First Nation Reserve. Tina's journey to the capital city is a harrowing one, culminating in drug abuse, sexual exploitation, and death. Aware of the reality of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, Jolly has chronicled Tina Fontaine's life as a reminder that she was more than a statistic. Raised by her father, and then by her great-aunt, Tina was a good student. But the violent death of her father hit Tina hard. She ran away, was found and put into the care of Child and Family Services, which she also sought to escape from. That choice left her in danger. Red River Girl focuses not on the grisly event itself, but on the efforts to seek justice. In December 2015, the police charged Raymond Cormier, a drifter, with second-degree murder. Jolly's book will cover the trial, which resulted in an acquittal. The verdict caused dismay across the country. The book is not only a true crime story, but a portrait of a community where Indigenous women are disproportionately more likely to be hurt or killed. Jolly asks questions about how Indigenous women, sex workers, community leaders and activists are fighting back to protect themselves and change perceptions. Most importantly, the book will chronicle whether Tina's family will find justice.

Red River Girl Details

TitleRed River Girl
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 27th, 2019
PublisherViking
ISBN-139780735233935
Rating
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Cultural, Canada

Red River Girl Review

  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Journalist Joanna Jolly takes readers back to 2014 when the body of 15 year old Tina Fontaine was pulled from the Red River in the Canadian city of Winnipeg. The investigation into her death would spark a nationwide demand for the Canadian government to conduct an inquiry into the high number of missing and murdered cases involving indigenous women. This book looks at the brief life of T Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Journalist Joanna Jolly takes readers back to 2014 when the body of 15 year old Tina Fontaine was pulled from the Red River in the Canadian city of Winnipeg. The investigation into her death would spark a nationwide demand for the Canadian government to conduct an inquiry into the high number of missing and murdered cases involving indigenous women. This book looks at the brief life of Tina Fontaine, the investigation into her death, and a full access look into the Canadian system. With the recent findings of the national inquiry that the cases of missing and murdered women is in fact a "genocide," ( June 2019), books, such as, Red River Girl, could certainly help further understanding.Goodreads Review 14/07/19Publication Date 27/08/19
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  • Valerity (Val)
    January 1, 1970
    This is author Joanna Jolly’s debut book on the death of Tina Fontaine. Tina was a Canadian girl, one of a number of aboriginal females who had gone missing and later turned up dead in the Red River. It’s written about as part of a larger problem of sexual exploitation with so many aboriginal young females. But the focus is on this girl for the purposes of this book. There is a lot of pressure for the police to make some progress in the case, and it continues to grow. There are several suspects, This is author Joanna Jolly’s debut book on the death of Tina Fontaine. Tina was a Canadian girl, one of a number of aboriginal females who had gone missing and later turned up dead in the Red River. It’s written about as part of a larger problem of sexual exploitation with so many aboriginal young females. But the focus is on this girl for the purposes of this book. There is a lot of pressure for the police to make some progress in the case, and it continues to grow. There are several suspects, and they are careful to take the time to rule them out correctly before focusing on the final one. All of that takes time. The final suspect turns out to be very slippery, and they have to go above and beyond to convince themselves and the Crown that it’s the correct person.I found this to be an engaging true story of Tina Fontaine’s life and tragic killing. She was just beginning to test her wings in a larger city, and when allowed a bit of freedom took too much and got in over her head. I’d recommend it for true crime readers. It held my interest quite well, and I’d recommend it. A good first effort for Ms. Jolly. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Joanna Jolly, and the publisher.Also found on my BookZone blog:https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog20...
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  • ❤️
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of Red River Girl in exchange for an honest review.I went back and forth between whether I even wanted to read this book or not. When it was first brought to my attention that a book about Tina Fontaine was being released this year, I thought, "good". When I found out that it was written by a British journalist based out of London, England, I couldn't help but feel apprehensive, wondering why she wanted to be the one to tell Tina's story an Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of Red River Girl in exchange for an honest review.I went back and forth between whether I even wanted to read this book or not. When it was first brought to my attention that a book about Tina Fontaine was being released this year, I thought, "good". When I found out that it was written by a British journalist based out of London, England, I couldn't help but feel apprehensive, wondering why she wanted to be the one to tell Tina's story and to put it in the form of a true crime book.I'm relieved to say that I found Jolly's handling of this case to be, for the most part, well done, and it is clear throughout the book that she took the case very seriously. While the subtitle of the book is 'The Life And Death Of Tina Fontaine', the book definitely leans more toward her death - specifically focusing mostly on her accused killer, Raymond Cormier, and how the use of a Mr. Big sting lead to his being the prime suspect in the case, as well as how his trial ended in a shocking acquittal. The author goes quite in depth into these two aspects of Tina's case and really gives the reader an idea of who Cormier is and how Winnipeg detectives struggled to get an official confession out of him.However, as well done as those two aspects of the book are, I felt like Tina's story got slightly lost within it. This is not to say that I think the author didn't care enough about Tina - it was evident to me that she did care about Tina. But I would have liked for her to have written more comprehensively about the Child Welfare workers and the police who so tragically failed Tina. It is such a huge factor into what happened to Tina, and I felt that the role that systemic racism, dehumanization and apathy plays into the all too common failures of young Indigenous boys and girls in this country should have been more of a focal point in telling this story.Let us not forget that the same night she disappeared, police officers spoke to Tina, who was a passenger in a truck known to police for soliciting prostitution (and, in fact, had been stopped just a few hours earlier that night for that very thing), ran her name through their database, saw that she was marked as being missing and only fifteen years old and at high risk of sexual exploitation, and for some reason decided to let her go. That fact in itself, and the institutional connotations that go with it, could take up an entire book alone. I personally felt that it was just a tad too succinctly discussed in the book, whereas Raymond Cormier's bizarre life and interests, as well as lead investigator John O'Donovan's melancholic feelings on Tina's death were especially elaborated on. Perhaps the book could have been slightly longer, so as to have more opportunity and space to delve further into Canada's systemic problems regarding its treatment of Indigenous youth and its role in what lead to Tina's murder for those who come into this book with little or no prior knowledge.Still, overall, this book does do a good job at detailing the fundamentals of Tina Fontaine's case. And anything that aids in bringing her story to more people is a good thing.
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. Red River Girl: The Life and Death of Tina Fontaine tells the tragic true story of Tina Fontaine, a fifteen-year-old Indigenous girl whose body was found in Winnipeg’s Red River on August 17, 2014. The book focuses primarily on the murder investigation conducted by the Winnipeg Police Homicide Unit, led by Sgt. John O’Donovan, but it also provides a glimpse into Tina’s short life and broader Indigenous issues in Canada. Tina’s death and the case that ensued shocked and outraged many p 4.5 stars. Red River Girl: The Life and Death of Tina Fontaine tells the tragic true story of Tina Fontaine, a fifteen-year-old Indigenous girl whose body was found in Winnipeg’s Red River on August 17, 2014. The book focuses primarily on the murder investigation conducted by the Winnipeg Police Homicide Unit, led by Sgt. John O’Donovan, but it also provides a glimpse into Tina’s short life and broader Indigenous issues in Canada. Tina’s death and the case that ensued shocked and outraged many people across Canada, especially Indigenous communities, and was the breaking point that resulted in increased activism and calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. The treatment of Indigenous people and the plight of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada is not well-known around the world, as it goes against everything that Canada claims to stand for, and I sincerely hope that Red River Girl gains popularity and exposes the secret that Canada would rather keep quiet. It has only been in the last few years that the magnitude of suffering experienced by Indigenous people in Canada has been recognized and acknowledged. Growing up in a small, rural town in Ontario, I was surrounded by people who held prejudiced and racist beliefs about Indigenous people, and I was never formally (or informally) taught about Indigenous history or culture. Research has found that children develop prejudices at an early age through socialization and exposure to misinformation about other cultures, and that prejudice is an inescapable consequence of living in a systematically racist society. Given this, it is no wonder that I developed my own prejudices against Indigenous people. When I started university, I took it upon myself to learn as much as I could about Indigenous affairs in Canada, which has allowed me to challenge my prejudices (as well as the prejudices of those around me). Now, I consider myself fairly well-educated about Indigenous issues, so the broader background information provided in this book did not come as a surprise to me. While the author, Joanna Jolly, provided this information throughout the book, I would have liked a short chapter at the start that provided a more in-depth overview of Indigenous issues in Canada, especially considering that many readers may not have any previous knowledge of the subject. Tina’s case does not exist in a vacuum – it is the result of a legacy of violence, neglect, and wrongdoing perpetrated by the Canadian government against Indigenous peoples – and it is important to understand how these factors contributed to Tina’s death. At first, I was a little unsure about the fact that Jolly is not Indigenous, as I would have liked to see an #OwnVoices account penned by an Indigenous author. However, from my perspective, Jolly provided a respectful portrayal of Tina’s case and Indigenous affairs in Canada, and did not insert her own opinion into the narrative. Red River Girl was well-written, well-researched, and compelling, and I was never overwhelmed by or bogged down in the details, which can often happen in true crime books. Although it is an incredibly sad and frustrating case which does not have a happy ending, I appreciated the comprehensive account of Tina’s case and the murder investigation. I hope this book inspires readers, especially if they are Canadian, to learn more about Indigenous issues and to speak up against prejudices and the way our institutions continue to fail the Indigenous population. In summary, Red River Girl is an engaging and important true crime account of Tina Fontaine’s short life and tragic death, which shines a light on broader Indigenous issues in Canada. I highly recommend it.Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada/Viking for providing me with an eARC of Red River Girl in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Eric
    January 1, 1970
    While Red River Girl by Joanna Jolly has the main focus on the disappearance and murder of fifteen-year-old Tina Fontaine, the book is much broader than that. Tina Fontaine was a fifteen-year-old Indigenous girl in Canada, that like of so many other young women, found herself on city streets only to be exploited, abused and murdered. Joanna Jolly not only provides an in-depth history of Tina Fontaine and those surrounding her, but also details the plight of the many Indigenous women of Canada th While Red River Girl by Joanna Jolly has the main focus on the disappearance and murder of fifteen-year-old Tina Fontaine, the book is much broader than that. Tina Fontaine was a fifteen-year-old Indigenous girl in Canada, that like of so many other young women, found herself on city streets only to be exploited, abused and murdered. Joanna Jolly not only provides an in-depth history of Tina Fontaine and those surrounding her, but also details the plight of the many Indigenous women of Canada that are too quick to be forgotten, or worse, ignored, in their existence and mistreatment. She also describes in detail the long, in-depth and creative investigation of what happened before and after Tina Fontaine's clothed corpse was found in the Red River in a knotted up duvet, weighted down with rocks. All around, Red River Girl is a sad and distressing story, but one that is important to tell. Jolly's book is an excellent portrayal of what is often described as a "police procedural" while at the same time being more than that. The book avoids becoming a moralistic polemic while detailing the terrible indifference too many people have toward Indigenous people and is told in a well-researched, "just the facts" manner that enthralls the reader to carry on through the book even though the outcome of the investigation and trial of the suspect is revealed to the reader just a few pages into the prologue. Highly recommended to those that enjoy in-depth, historical true crime books where each character, whether villainous or heroic, is researched, examined and detailed.An ARC of this book was provided by Net Galley for review.
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  • Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
    January 1, 1970
    My review can be found inside: https://youtu.be/_b-KACYIfHII received an ARC kindly from NetGalley in exchange for a review.
  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    This investigative look into the murder of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine reads like a crime novel. It is extremely well written and researched and shines a light on the appalling treatment of indigenous women in Canada and elsewhere. As a resident of Manitoba, I was a little defensive at her portrayal of Winnipeg at first, but then I realized that the Winnipeg that Tina Fontaine lived in is not the Winnipeg I live in. But it is the sad and terrible reality for so many. Everyone should read this book This investigative look into the murder of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine reads like a crime novel. It is extremely well written and researched and shines a light on the appalling treatment of indigenous women in Canada and elsewhere. As a resident of Manitoba, I was a little defensive at her portrayal of Winnipeg at first, but then I realized that the Winnipeg that Tina Fontaine lived in is not the Winnipeg I live in. But it is the sad and terrible reality for so many. Everyone should read this book. And then everyone should stand up and do something to change things. It’s devastating that they were not able to get a confession out of Cormier. I think it’s pretty clear that he’s guilty after reading the book. This one is a definite five star for me.
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  • Cindy H.
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me an ARC of this heartbreaking book in exchange for an honest review. Living in the United States, I was not aware of the recent murder and discovery of Tina Fontaine, a 15 year old Indigenous teenager from Manitoba Canada. On the morning of August 17, 2014 Tina’s body was found wrapped in a duvet and submerged in the muddy waters of Winnipeg’s Red River. She had been reported as missing for 6 weeks. BBC reporter JoAnna Jolly has w Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me an ARC of this heartbreaking book in exchange for an honest review. Living in the United States, I was not aware of the recent murder and discovery of Tina Fontaine, a 15 year old Indigenous teenager from Manitoba Canada. On the morning of August 17, 2014 Tina’s body was found wrapped in a duvet and submerged in the muddy waters of Winnipeg’s Red River. She had been reported as missing for 6 weeks. BBC reporter JoAnna Jolly has written a compelling, extensive, and detailed account of Tina’s early family life, the obstacles she faced as a child born to addict parents, her encounters with child welfare services and the tragic last weeks of her life. This story was gut wrenching and a crash course on Canada’s systematic failure and neglect of the Indigenous people of the region. Continuing with her research, Jolly chronicles the year long extensive murder investigation and ultimate arrest. It was fascinating to get such a behind the scenes look at the police probe and eventual court proceedings. I literally could not put this book down. My heart broke for the travesty that befell Tina and the other young girls like her. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in true crime, nonfiction, women’s rights and policy making/ politics. My only quibble; at times the book got bogged down in too much background information.
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  • Booked-up22
    January 1, 1970
    Red River Girl, a true story about a 15 yr old Indigenous girl, named Tina Fontaine, who was found by chance, dead in the Red River in Winnipeg, Canada on Aug 17, 2014. Not only does this book delve into the personal details of Tina's family, and life, which was so sad, but the lives of the Indigenous people of Canada. It was an eye opening book for me, as I had no idea of the suffering/racism the Indigenous people, endured, and still do. The women are especially treated horribly, and are sadly Red River Girl, a true story about a 15 yr old Indigenous girl, named Tina Fontaine, who was found by chance, dead in the Red River in Winnipeg, Canada on Aug 17, 2014. Not only does this book delve into the personal details of Tina's family, and life, which was so sad, but the lives of the Indigenous people of Canada. It was an eye opening book for me, as I had no idea of the suffering/racism the Indigenous people, endured, and still do. The women are especially treated horribly, and are sadly victims of many sexual assaults.The Book was written by BBC Reporter, Joanna Jolly, who does an outstanding job in telling the story of Tina, her case, and the lives of the native people, bringing much needed attention to the heartbreaking lives these people have lived. Thanks so much @Netgalley @Penguin Random House, and of course, Joanna Jolly, for the chance to read this heartbreaking, but very informative book.
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  • Jen Juenke
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a heartbreaking true crime story of Tina Fontaine. It was hard to put down the book, I read it straight through. As I was reading it, you could tell that the homicide department in Winnipeg expanded a LOT of man power and money trying to catch her killer. Yet, I was left wondering if perhaps they had narrowed their search too soon.I was shocked at how many murders her poor family had endured before Tina's.This was a good true crime book that really explores the ways in which the pol This is such a heartbreaking true crime story of Tina Fontaine. It was hard to put down the book, I read it straight through. As I was reading it, you could tell that the homicide department in Winnipeg expanded a LOT of man power and money trying to catch her killer. Yet, I was left wondering if perhaps they had narrowed their search too soon.I was shocked at how many murders her poor family had endured before Tina's.This was a good true crime book that really explores the ways in which the police tried to get a conviction in this case.
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  • Cate
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot give this once enough stars or recommend it enough. So I'm just going to say read it. I will add though, if you're a fan of the podcasts Somebody Knows Something, Finding Chloe, or any other Canadian true crime podcasts you're the perfect reader for this.Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Alan Pickersgill
    January 1, 1970
    A lot of Canadians were puzzled by one of the conclusions in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (NIMMIWG). The inquiry found that the tragic number of women involved amounted to an act of genocide. A new book by British journalist Joanna Jolly helps us understand the truth behind the inquiry’s conclusions. Red River Girl tells the story of Tina Fontaine, a 15-year-old Indigenous woman murdered in Winnipeg in 2014. Although a man was char A lot of Canadians were puzzled by one of the conclusions in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (NIMMIWG). The inquiry found that the tragic number of women involved amounted to an act of genocide. A new book by British journalist Joanna Jolly helps us understand the truth behind the inquiry’s conclusions. Red River Girl tells the story of Tina Fontaine, a 15-year-old Indigenous woman murdered in Winnipeg in 2014. Although a man was charged with her murder in 2015, he was acquitted by a jury in February 2018. Jolly presents Fontaine’s story almost as a police procedural. Most of her sources are connected to the Winnipeg police. She also untangles the somewhat scattered, often incoherent and sometimes self-serving memories of people who knew Fontaine in the last few months of her young life.Make no mistake about it. Fontaine’s story was searingly tragic. She was born in the Sagkeeng First Nation, about 120 km north-east of Winnipeg and raised there by a great-aunt. Her mother was largely absent from her life. Her father was beaten to death when she was 12. Her school work began to suffer as a result and by the time she was 15 she was a frequent runaway. She ran to the city in attempts to reconnect with her mother. This brought her into contact with the predators who feed on Winnipeg's inner city poverty.It is fair to say that the most positive times for Fontaine were when she managed to connect with the stable elders of her community and was able to feel the language and culture that ought to have been hers. These moments were always thwarted by the men who fed her growing drug addiction and, despite her young age, lured her into the sex trade.Worse still was the failure of the child protection system to shield her from the dangers of life on Winnipeg’s streets. On one occasion, within days of her death, she was a passenger in a pickup truck stopped by police at about five o’clock in the morning. The two constables failed to wonder why a young Indigenous woman was in the truck at that hour. They did not follow up on a missing person alert circulated earlier that night. They arrested the driver for minor traffic offenses and allowed Fontaine to walk away.On many occasions when workers from Children and Family Services (CFS) did have Fontaine in their care, they would leave her in a downtown hotel room. This teenage runaway, picked up on a missing person report, was left unsupervised. She was able to walk out unnoticed at any time, and the drug dealers who had her in their clutches could wander the hotel corridors unimpeded. Of all the things CFS managed to do, protecting Tina Fontaine did not make it onto the list.Jolly does a good job of reporting the details of Fontaine’s life and the unsuccessful search for her killer. She also makes it clear that Fontaine’s life and death were not unusual. Her tragedy was not unique. She was neither the first nor the last Indigenous woman to go missing and to be murdered. The RCMP estimate that nearly 1,200 had been murdered in Canada between 1980 and 2012. The Native Women’s Association of Canada puts the number at closer to 4,000 over 40 years. In any event, Jolly writes, while Indigenous women make up only four per cent of Canada’s female population, almost half of all women murdered are Indigenous.Tina Fontaine’s murder was one of the straws that broke the camel’s back. It galvanized Canada’s Indigenous community and captured national attention. Six months later, the federal government set up a national inquiry to gather the truth about this epidemic of violence.The executive summary of the National Inquiry's final report states: “Racist colonial attitudes justified Canada’s policies of assimilation, which sought to eliminate First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples as distinct peoples and communities. (…) The result has been that many Indigenous people have grown up normalized to violence, while Canadian society shows an appalling apathy to addressing the issue. The National Inquiry … finds that this amounts to genocide.”If you want to understand the roots of the ongoing assault on the Indigenous population of our country, get a copy of Red River Girl. Then go online and get a copy of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Then read them and weep.(Red River Girl is published by Penguin Random House Canada with a release date of 27 August 2019. An advance review copy was made available through NetGalley.com. #RedRiverGirl #NetGalley)
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    RED RIVER GIRL is a fascinating story about the murder of Tina Fontaine, a fifteen year old Indigenous girl in Winnipeg, and the epidemic of missing and murdered girls in Canada. It’s a well-written police procedural-type narrative told in two branches: one about the detective who was responsible for investigating Tina’s murder, and another about how the Canadian government underserves and often endangers its Indigenous youth. It is a stunning indictment of Canada’s failure. Jolly is a BBC journ RED RIVER GIRL is a fascinating story about the murder of Tina Fontaine, a fifteen year old Indigenous girl in Winnipeg, and the epidemic of missing and murdered girls in Canada. It’s a well-written police procedural-type narrative told in two branches: one about the detective who was responsible for investigating Tina’s murder, and another about how the Canadian government underserves and often endangers its Indigenous youth. It is a stunning indictment of Canada’s failure. Jolly is a BBC journalist who reported on the phenomenon of missing Indigenous girls turning up dead in Winnipeg’s Red River. She first became interested in this story when a colleague mentioned a story about a murdered Indigenous girl and said, “Wow, Canadians are so racist.” I’m sure we would all turn our heads at that kind of a statement - a colleague of mine did the same when I told her about this book - because we think that Canadians are the epitome of kindness, politeness, and welcoming. But in Canada, much like in the U.S., Indigenous people are at the margins of society, pushed to reserves in places even more desolate than you could imagine. Jolly relays stories of Catholic schools built on Native reserves where boarding children were subjected to disgusting sexual, verbal, and physical abuse from the nuns and priests at the schools. Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious problem for Indigenous people of all ages - often due to a lack of quality education and viable jobs in the remote areas of the reserves. Many Indigenous children are put in foster homes that are under-resourced and underserved. Throughout the book, you hear incidences of police brutality, targeting, and patterns of discrimination, much like that faced by the black community in America. The police turn a blind eye to the hundreds of missing or murdered Indigenous women reported, and communities are left betrayed and heartbroken. Canadians have an unspeakable hatred toward Indigenous; a particularly disgusting quote that stuck with me was a Canadian man who said that any Indigenous women who were murdered deserved to die because they were all whores. Jolly estimates that 3000 Indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered in the past three decades. Tina Fontaine was a bright, focused girl who grew up in a foster home on the Sagkeeng reserve with a loving foster mother and younger sister. She was close to her father, who was plagued with alcohol and drug addiction. She loved young children and dreamed of being a teacher or caretaker when she got older - a dream she never got to achieve. When she was maybe thirteen, her father suddenly passed away, and Tina was heartbroken. Normally a good student, she started slacking off at school, sneaking out of the house, and doing drugs. She ran away from home several times, forming a sudden desire to get closer to her absentee mother, who lived in Winnipeg. She ran off to the big city, where her drug-addicted mother was unable to take care of her. She soon became transient, living on the street, in temporary shelters, or on other people’s couches. In August 2014, Tina’s body was found in the Red River, tied up in a duvet cover and weighted down by stones. Police began investigating, but any physical evidence was likely washed away by the river. Once this information was released, the public latched onto Tina’s death as the final straw - the Canadian police needed to finally do something about the epidemic of violence against Indigenous women. Tina’s death coincided with the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and a movement similar to Black Lives Matter arose around Tina, with Indigenous women posting pictures of themselves with the hashtag #AmINext. She was the symbol of the Canadian government’s failure to take care of its Indigenous citizens. The story moves to Detective John O’Donovan, the lead investigator on Tina’s murder case. O’Donovan was determined to solve her case and bring justice to Tina, one of the few people like him on the Winnipeg police force. Despite his determination, this case was going to be hard to solve - Tina was a transient youth whose friends were often addicted to drugs or alcohol, making their memories and testimonies unreliable. It was extraordinarily hard to track her whereabouts. Eventually, O’Donovan and his team put together a timeline and identify suspects. O’Donovan is convinced that one suspect in particular, Raymond Cormier, is their guy. Eventually, they put together an elaborate Mr. Big operation on Cormier, an undercover mission in which a cool guy befriends the subject and gets the subject to think that he is going to be inducted into a criminal gang. In order to make it in the gang, the “Mr. Big” boss confronts the subject and says that the subject needs to confess to any crimes he’s committed. It’s better for the gang boss to know about the crimes so that he can protect the subject from charges, so goes the operation. The subject confesses to the crime and it’s recorded in the room. Mr. Big schemes have been outlawed in the U.S. and the U.K., but are still used in Canada, although juries sometimes have dismissed confessions procured from Mr. Big operations as coerced or false. They’re expensive ploys, with dozens of undercover agents involved and recording devices used at every stage. It’s a highly invasive technique and throughout the book, I was amazed at how this is still legal. However, you understand the immense amount of pressure that O’Donovan and his team faced to solve this case - it became an international news story, with Justin Trudeau launching an investigative commission of inquiry into the issue. The book is fast-paced and intriguing, and Jolly makes you feel like you are there during the investigation. She consistently quotes recordings and transcripts, and received an amazing level of detail from O’Donovan. Despite you thinking that you know where the book is going, she sets the end up to be a surprise, and I was genuinely on the edge of my seat to see whether or not Cormier would be convicted. Moreover, RED RIVER GIRL is an exposé on a topic that many are unfamiliar with - I had no idea the degree of this problem in Canada, and I was appalled to learn about it. Jolly does a great job of not making it a cut-and-dry issue: the Canadian police have done a deplorable job of addressing the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women, but the problems of addiction and transience make it very difficult to solve these cases. No matter what, the Canadian government has a responsibility to provide a better safety net and system of accountability for its Indigenous, so that murders of Indigenous women can be prevented in the first place.Huge thank you to Viking and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Kat Ayres
    January 1, 1970
    My knowledge of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada is better than the average American, but this book showed me how little I do know. While I’ve heard of Tina Fontaine, I didn’t know the particulars of her case or of the particulars of the investigation. Reading about the evidence against the main suspect and the outcome of the case against him, my heart is broken. This book is beyond engaging and powerful. I hope for justice for Tina and all of the missing and murdered in Canada. I My knowledge of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada is better than the average American, but this book showed me how little I do know. While I’ve heard of Tina Fontaine, I didn’t know the particulars of her case or of the particulars of the investigation. Reading about the evidence against the main suspect and the outcome of the case against him, my heart is broken. This book is beyond engaging and powerful. I hope for justice for Tina and all of the missing and murdered in Canada. I’ll definitely be purchasing this next week after it’s release next week. Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this book.
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  • Karla Strand
    January 1, 1970
    This is the tragic true story of Tina Fontaine, a 15 year old Sagkeeng First Nation girl from Winnipeg who, in 2014, went missing and was later found dead. This is probably the most well-known case of the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) and Joanna Jolly provides an organized, thorough examination of the facts of the case. She includes Tina's childhood, upbringing, troubles, family, poverty, addictions, and more. We learn about the extensive police investigati This is the tragic true story of Tina Fontaine, a 15 year old Sagkeeng First Nation girl from Winnipeg who, in 2014, went missing and was later found dead. This is probably the most well-known case of the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) and Joanna Jolly provides an organized, thorough examination of the facts of the case. She includes Tina's childhood, upbringing, troubles, family, poverty, addictions, and more. We learn about the extensive police investigation, circumstances of Tina's death, how she was found, and possible suspects. The police (and Jolly, in the book) turn the focus to Raymond Cormier, who was eventually charged with Tina's murder and went to trial. This is a heartwrenching but informative look into this sad case, which is indicative of so many others. If you don't know about the MMIWG movement, please go to https://www.karlajstrand.com/2018/05/... to learn more.
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  • Marian Ashdown
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book everyone should read. Set in Winnipeg in Canada it tells the story of the murder of a 15 year old indiginous girl and the amazing lengths the police went to to find her killer. This book opened my eyes to a problem I never knew existed in Canada. Meticulously researched and very well written the author has produced a true account of what has, seemingly, become a rising problem in Canada.
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  • Kinsey
    January 1, 1970
    A heartbreaking look into the murder of a young girl in Winnipeg, Canada, and the systemic racism that the case brought to national attention. Tina Fontaine, a young Indigenous girl, was only 15 years old when she was found dumped into the Red River and this book chronicles both her short life and death, as well as the police investigation into her murder. It also explores the centuries of racism suffered by the Indigenous tribes and the startlingly high number of the kidnapping and murder of it A heartbreaking look into the murder of a young girl in Winnipeg, Canada, and the systemic racism that the case brought to national attention. Tina Fontaine, a young Indigenous girl, was only 15 years old when she was found dumped into the Red River and this book chronicles both her short life and death, as well as the police investigation into her murder. It also explores the centuries of racism suffered by the Indigenous tribes and the startlingly high number of the kidnapping and murder of its women. The author does a great job of personalizing Tina and her family, as well as exploring the inherent hopelessness of the poverty and drug use in reservation life that could lead a young girl to a terrible fate. However, I feel that the story deviated from it's focus on the victim towards the last part of the book. While the con the police played on the only suspect (another point of issue) was interesting, it left the latter half of the book feeling unfocused. Still, this novel was a great insight into the plight of Indigenous people in Canada and I hope that attention results in some real changes. A special thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Lacey
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley for providing this copy for review purposes.This book made me angry because it’s the story about Tina Fontaine, a fifteen year old Indigenous girl, who was murdered in 2014. It made me angry because she was tossed into the river like fucking garbage and how Indigenous women are treated.The investigation was interesting, but I still feel there was so much injustice and my heart hurts.Also the guy that was investigated was creepy and shady as fuck.
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  • Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley, Viking, and Joanna Jolly for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.Like: - the background and non judgmental explanation of the life circumstances that led Tina and her family to their current life situations - The detective who was working to solve her murder. Love: - the book brings to light the important topic of violence against First Nations women Dislike: - A possible dislike for some people (not for me though) --- the descriptions of the Thank you to NetGalley, Viking, and Joanna Jolly for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.Like: - the background and non judgmental explanation of the life circumstances that led Tina and her family to their current life situations - The detective who was working to solve her murder. Love: - the book brings to light the important topic of violence against First Nations women Dislike: - A possible dislike for some people (not for me though) --- the descriptions of the crime and her body when discovered. This is to be expected since it's a true crime book. - Nothing specific to dislike, but nothing was particularly amazing either. Wish that: - It held my attention more. The overall topic is interesting, but not phenomenal in the presentation.- The story had lived up to its potential. It was such a complex, informative, must be discussed story, but overall it read as a little boring, especially for a true crime mystery book.Overall, an okay book about an important but terrible event that occurred in real life. I'm so glad that Tina Fontaine's murder is being discussed in the context of violence against First Nations women. An important topic, but unfortunately this book doesn't do it justice in my opinion.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I have been learning more about the crimes against Indigenous women in the US and Canada. It's absolutely horrifying how badly they are treated; the rate of abuse and death they encounter compared to their % of the population and how little is done to get justice/protect them before crimes are committed. Reading this book was part of continuing my education and trying to understand more on an individual level.Jolly writes very well, is succinct and you can feel both her passion and her efforts t I have been learning more about the crimes against Indigenous women in the US and Canada. It's absolutely horrifying how badly they are treated; the rate of abuse and death they encounter compared to their % of the population and how little is done to get justice/protect them before crimes are committed. Reading this book was part of continuing my education and trying to understand more on an individual level.Jolly writes very well, is succinct and you can feel both her passion and her efforts to be very factual in her presentation. I think the book goes a little further into the investigation than it does into the life of Tina Fontaine but it does a credible job of trying to cover both. The investigators took this crime seriously and you can see they pulled out all stops to ensure Tina was not just another statistic.I would have loved to have heard from some of the jurors after the end to try to understand their thinking. It doesn't feel like it's a full book but feels more like a very well done long form article.It's an interesting book for true crime readers; might be an interesting entry point to non fiction for regular readers of police procedurals as it gets very deep into the specific undercover process here.I received an e-arc from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.
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  • Jessica Janson
    January 1, 1970
    On August 17, 2014, the body of fifteen-year old runaway Tina Fontaine was found in Winnipeg's Red River. She was wrapped in a duvet and weighted down with rocks. Red River Girl is a detailed account of the investigation of Tina's murder through the backdrop of the treatment of Indigenous people in Winnipeg, and throughout Canada. Joanna did an excellent job describing the life of Tina and the many ways that she was failed by those that could have helped her. Through the story of Tina, we are ma On August 17, 2014, the body of fifteen-year old runaway Tina Fontaine was found in Winnipeg's Red River. She was wrapped in a duvet and weighted down with rocks. Red River Girl is a detailed account of the investigation of Tina's murder through the backdrop of the treatment of Indigenous people in Winnipeg, and throughout Canada. Joanna did an excellent job describing the life of Tina and the many ways that she was failed by those that could have helped her. Through the story of Tina, we are made to see her as more than a statistic but as a young girl that was tragically murdered and the affect this terrible act has had on her family, the citizens of Winnipeg, and the community of Indigenous people who experience this loss all too frequently. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in true crime or those that are interested in human rights activism. Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin Random House Canada, Viking and Joanna Jolly for this ARC of Red River Girl. All opinions are my own.
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  • Bailey Forsyth-Blower
    January 1, 1970
    Being from Winnipeg, Manitoba the events that took place in this novel are all too familiar. I was eager to read how a non-Canadian would unfold the tragic murder of Tina Fontaine. I felt every emotion when reading Jolly’s account, but I feel that she did the investigation justice. She thoroughly researched, and interviewed providing an unbiased account of the murder and subsequent investigation into finding and charging the murderer of 15 year old Tina Fontaine. Canada’s missing and murdered in Being from Winnipeg, Manitoba the events that took place in this novel are all too familiar. I was eager to read how a non-Canadian would unfold the tragic murder of Tina Fontaine. I felt every emotion when reading Jolly’s account, but I feel that she did the investigation justice. She thoroughly researched, and interviewed providing an unbiased account of the murder and subsequent investigation into finding and charging the murderer of 15 year old Tina Fontaine. Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women is a horrible truth that is plaguing our country and a book of this caliber does well to highlight what is gong on here in Canada to the rest of the world. It is about time that action is taken to put a stop to these crimes and to solve the ones that are haunting the families of their missing and/or murdered loved ones. I am just sorry that it took the death of Tina Fontaine to put these wheels in motion but I hope that her loss is not in vain.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I have not heard of this case prior to reading this book. I have never heard of the term indigenous people before since we call them Native Americans. Working in the criminal justice system in the US I had concerns about how the investigation was being handled and was not surprised by the verdict. There may be information not in this book that may have caused me to believe otherwise, but this book has me leaning towards not guilty. Tragically this is something seen a lot with victims of human tr I have not heard of this case prior to reading this book. I have never heard of the term indigenous people before since we call them Native Americans. Working in the criminal justice system in the US I had concerns about how the investigation was being handled and was not surprised by the verdict. There may be information not in this book that may have caused me to believe otherwise, but this book has me leaning towards not guilty. Tragically this is something seen a lot with victims of human trafficking and I hope one day this family sees justice for what has happened to Tina. No one should have to live through the death of their child or grandchild.
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  • Maeghin
    January 1, 1970
    ‘Tina’s death had triggered nationwide anger, amplifying the calls for a government inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women.’#AmINext? Joanne Jolly dives deep into the story of the tragic death of 15 year old Tina Fontaine. She also sheds light on the disturbing accounts of many other Indigenous women in Canada that are being murdered.The time and effort Sergeant John O’Donovan puts into constructing Tina’s last days is remarkable. It truly shows how much he cares.
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  • Amy Wels
    January 1, 1970
    A topical book on a much under-reported issue, the murder and disappearances of indigenous women. This is a true crime look at the investigation around the murder of Tina Fontaine, a teen in Canada that is found murdered in the Red River area of Manitoba. Written by Joanna Jolly, a BBC reporter, the account describes the cultural and barriers around solving this and other homicides like it.
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  • Shan
    January 1, 1970
    A heartbreaking story. I remember following Tina's story after her death and the anguish that was felt when the man arrested for her murder wasn't convicted. This book gives us a glimpse into her difficult life and a thorough look at the investigation that followed. This book is one of the many wake up calls that Canadians need to read for Truth and Reconciliation.
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  • Janilyn Kocher
    January 1, 1970
    Red River Girl is a compelling look at the murder of a young Canadian girl, who was also indigenous. Jolly revels indepth research and interviews as investigators strive to deduce who the culprit was. The author puts the murder in the broader context of assaults on indigenous Canadians. It's a fascinating, yet sad murder mystery. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I usually give a book longer than 10%. I think it’s more my lack of mental space because of life and not so much this book, but I just can’t do it. I can’t grab hold of all the details, or make myself care, so I’m moving on.
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