Nicole Patterson is a young, green and very eager probationary constable with the Ontario Provincial Police. Although she spends much of her time breaking up bar fights, giving out traffic tickets and finding lost kids, she dreams of one day becoming a detective. Late one bitterly cold winter night, she comes across the body of a young woman lying on the edge of a snow-covered field on the outskirts of town. The girl appears to have been strangled. Nicole recognizes the victim as a local high school student with ...
Nicole Patterson is a young, green and very eager probationary constable with the Ontario Provincial Police. Although she spends much of her time breaking up bar fights, giving out traffic tickets and finding lost kids, she dreams of one day becoming a detective. Late one bitterly cold winter night, she comes across the body of a young woman lying on the edge of a snow-covered field on the outskirts of town. The girl appears to have been strangled. Nicole recognizes the victim as a local high school student with a somewhat sullied reputation, the daughter of the town drunk. Though both under-qualified and unauthorized, Nicole feels compelled to throw herself into the murder investigation. Was the murdered girl really as promiscuous as her classmates described or the victim of bullying? What was her relationship with the star of the football team? And what is the significance of the ring with the large blue stone found near her body? Is Nicole Patterson herself heading for trouble by pretending to be a detective?
"A fast-paced, easy-to-read, contemporary story...Although plot driven, the story manages to touch on contemporary issues, like the casual cruelty of teenagers, dysfunctional families, teen pregnancy, and parental ambitions. Complete with a thoughtful and observant protagonist, a sympathetic victim, varied supporting characters, a snappy 'whodunit' plot, short, easy-to-read sentences (RL 2.8), some graphic yet realistic language, and enough detail to engage readers, this quick read fits the series well and should appeal to an audience accustomed to the pace of television crime dramas. Highly Recommended."
Southwest Ohio Young Adult Material Review Group
"Intended as a hi-low option for adults this title could certainly be read and enjoyed by teens as well...Though the sentences are short...and the vocabulary simple, this is a very readable mystery which keeps the reader hooked as to the true murderer until very close to the end. This would be a useful purchase for schools and libraries where items are needed for students with low reading levels as well as ESL students."
Tri State YA Book Review Committee
"This quick read will grab the reader's attention from page one...As the case unfolds, the reader is drawn into the life of Nicole the investigator...A very satisfying read for reluctant readers."
- Krisan Murphy
Set in Prince Edward County, Ontario, suspicion, ambition, and suspense lace this "Rapid Reads" murder mystery novel. Although a rookie constable, Nicole Patterson surpasses her superiors in unlocking key elements related to the murder of a young girl in a winter scene. The victim, an underprivileged high school student, is pregnant and found strangled in a wooded area near the highway. With this information constable Patterson snoops around town collecting incriminating evidence. Nicole is able to uncover clues that her superiors overlook from the locals and even her mother. Her determination leads Nicole to the father of the unborn child and a poor-girl-rich-boy saga. In Nicole's eyes the teenage father is not a murder suspect. The diligent constable insightfully uncovers greed, selfish ambition, and the true perpetrator of the heinous crime. Although this "Rapid Reads" paperback is written on a 2.8 reading level, the subject matter—murder, intrigue, unwed teen pregnancy—is appropriate for adults and older teenagers. Short sentences and first person point of view make it an easy read for those students not reading on grade level. Reviewer: Krisan Murphy
Vicki Delany is one of Canada's most prolific and varied crime writers. She writes everything from stand-alone novels of psychological suspense, to the Constable Molly Smith books, a traditional police procedural series set in the British Columbia Interior, to a light-hearted historical series set in the raucous heyday of the Klondike Gold Rush. Vicki now enjoys the rural life in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario, where she grows vegetables, eats tomatoes, shovels snow and rarely wears a watch. For more information, visit vickidelany.com.
I shifted my feet. Snow crunched beneath my boots. I dropped to a squat beside the body. It was a woman. Her long pink scark was wrapped tightly around her neck. Too tight to let air pass. I pulled off my gloves and held my fingers to the side of her neck. Cold and stiff.