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There were thirteen crime-scene pictures. Dead faces set in grimaces and shouts. Faces howling, whistling, moaning, crying, hissing. Hazel pinned them to the wall and stood back. It was a silent opera of ghosts.
Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef has lived all her days in the small town of Port Dundas and is now making her way toward retirement with something less than grace. Hobbled by a bad back and a dependence on painkillers, and feeling blindsided by divorce after nearly four decades of marriage, sixty-one-year-old Hazel has only the constructive criticism of her old goat of a mother and her own sharp tongue to buoy her. But when a terminally ill Port Dundas woman is gruesomely murdered in her own home, Hazel and her understaffed department must spring to life. And as one terminally ill victim after another is found—their bodies drained of blood, their mouths sculpted into strange shapes—Hazel finds herself tracking a truly terrifying serial killer across the country while everything she was barely holding together begins to spin out of control.
Through the cacophony of her bickering staff, her unsupportive superiors, a clamoring press, the town’s rumor mill, and her own nagging doubts, Hazel can sense the dead trying to call out. But what secret do they have to share? And will she hear it before it’s too late?
In The Calling, Inger Ash Wolfe brings a compelling new voice and an irresistible new heroine to the mystery world.
INGER ASH WOLFE is the pseudonym for a North American literary novelist.
This bracingly original mystery from the pseudonymous Wolfe opens with the grisly slaying of an elderly cancer sufferer in Port Dundas, a remote Ontario town that has gone years without a homicide. The murder hits at a particularly tough time for 61-year-old Det. Insp. Hazel Micallef, who's struggling to come to terms with a surprise divorce and battles daily with her acerbic 87-year-old mother. A serious staff shortage and an injured back add to the department commander's woes. A second, even more disturbing killing raises the ante for Micallef, who's already doubtful she can solve the first case. As Micallef marshals her forces, Wolfe fans the already high suspense by cutting between them and their elusive quarry. With the body count climbing, the detective puts herself increasingly at risk in a desperate attempt to foil the grand, demented plan that the killer regards as a mission. Billed as a prominent North American literary novelist, Wolfe convincingly lays claim to a new mantle as a first-rate crime writer. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.