Monday, September 24, 2012
"The Calling", by Inger Ash Wolfe
This debut crime-fiction novel released in 2008 is a dark and haunting mystery heavy with suspense, a terrific cat and mouse game following officials hot on the trail of a serial killer.
The story has a clever and devious plot that delivers both psychological depth and emotional heights. It has a gruesome beginning, the body of an elderly woman stricken with cancer is found brutally murdered and drained of all her blood. When the detectives arrive they witness a scene that would be a great opening for any horror movie. Their preliminary instincts are: could this be a desperate assisted suicide or an outright sadistic slaughter?
The 61 year old Hazel Micallef, the protagonist, is the Acting Chief inspector of Dundans, Ontario. Viewing this macabre murder scene is a first for Hazel, since her early days as a police officer she has dealt with drunks, trespassers and occasional domestic disturbances, typical small town issues. The investigation takes another spin when a few days later a man is killed in Chamberlain, a small town some kilometers east. The two cases raise alarm bells for Hazel and her team when they find strong similarities with murders in other jurisdictions. One theory quickly comes to the forefront Canada has a serial killer for hire specializing in the terminally ill and preying on people desperate to end their suffering. As they unravel the mystery the pace accelerates to a wrenching powerful conclusion.
This novel is a great addition to the serial killer genre, a thought provoking and well-written mystery with unique and compelling characters surrounded by a believable and well-drawn supporting cast. Some may find the police tactics somewhat over the top and full of technical errors however this fictional story skilfully brings to life the contrasts between rural and urban policing. The author’s imagination and originality go a long way in making the suspense a captivating time between the pages.
This is another series that has piqued my interest and is on my TBR list.