A Hazel Micallef Mystery
By Inger Ash Wolfe
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151013531, 432pp.)
Publication Date: July 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef is having a bad year. After major back surgery, she has no real option but to move into her ex-husband’s basement and suffer the humiliation of his new wife bringing her meals down on a tray. As if that weren’t enough, Hazel’s octogenarian mother secretly flushes Hazel’s stash of painkillers down the toilet. It’s almost a relief when Hazel gets a call about a body fished up by tourists in one of the lakes near Port Dundas. But what raises the hair on the back of Micallef ’s neck is that the local paper has just published the first installment of a serialized story featuring such a scenario. Even before they head out to the lake with divers to recover the body, she and DC James Wingate, leading the police detachment in Micallef ’s absence, know they are being played. But it’s not clear who is pulling their strings and why, nor is what they find at the lake at all what they expected. It’s Micallef herself who is snared, caught up in a cryptic game devised by someone who knows how to taunt her into opening a cold case, someone who knows that nothing will stop her investigation. The second novel featuring Hazel Micallef, “a compelling, unlikely hero” (Entertainment Weekly), is a stunning and suspenseful exploration of the obsessive far reaches of love, confirming Inger Ash Wolfe as one of the best mystery writers today.
INGER ASH WOLFE is the author of The Calling.
THE TAKEN (star)
What looks like a prank lures a Canadian police chief into an investigation of a bone-chilling crime.
Hazel Micallef (The Calling, 2008) is none too pleased to be recuperating from back surgery in the home of her ex-husband. But her mother Emily is too frail to care for her 62-year-old daughter, and Andrew Micallef's new wife Glynnis seems determined to be nerve-wrackingly kind to her invalid predecessor. So Hazel barely minds being called back to the Port Dundas OPS when DC James Wingate, who never really wanted to be in charge of the provincial Ontario outpost, gets a report of a body pulled from Lake Gannon by tourists. The "body" turns out to be a mannequin, but a number stamped on the headless dummy's torso leads to a video feed of what looks like someone held captive in a basement. Meanwhile, The Port Dundas Record begins to publish chapters of a work by local writer Colin Eldwin, whose plot eerily tracks the Lake Gannon discovery. Eldwin is gone; his wife suggests he's in Toronto cheating on her. But the chapters keep arriving, each with a clue to a crime that hasn't yet been discovered, much less solved. And as the video feed becomes more disturbing, Hazel finds herself at odds with Ray Greene, the former deputy slated to become her boss as the provincial force is consolidated, and with the Toronto police, who resent Ontario's intrusion onto city turf.
Beautiful writing is just one of the pleasures of this Chinese-box puzzler. -Kirkus Reviews (starred)