When Zoe and her teenage daughter discover an ice-covered corpse at her boss’s mountain chalet, ex-Mountie Lacey McCrae trades her Christmas shopping for Victim Services duty. The dead man is Eric, an intern at the Calgary oil company where Zoe works. Reported missing after a blizzard a month earlier, he was presumed dead by misadventure. But his missing car and other inconsistencies point to a suspicious death.
When someone close to Lacey goes missing in similar circumstances, she fears the two cases may be connected. With help from old RCMP colleagues and tips that Zoe swears came from a ghost, Lacey tracks a ruthless killer through the merciless winter wilderness.
About the Author
J.E. Barnard's first book in the Falls Mysteries series, When the Flood Falls, won the CWC Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel in 2016. Her novella Maddie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge was an Alberta Book of the Year and a 2018 Prix Aurora finalist. She lives in Calgary.
Read an Excerpt
Just before dawn the blizzard let up, leaving the wilderness shrouded in white, the roads snowdrifted, and the oil derricks iced over. Far out on the shoulders of the Rockies, the scattered chalets at Black Rock Bowl were hidden under the blanket of snow. No sign of life disturbed the stillness, save a lone spire of chimney smoke rising up into the lightening sky. As the sun rose, revealing this new white world, it kissed the roof of the shed, slowly melting the snow, the water dripping down to form ever-lengthening icicles.
Six more days of melting and freezing followed before the plow from Waiparous Village reached the deserted resort. It rumbled around the Black Rock Loop from the northern end, its operator keeping an eye out for a red Toyota Camry reported missing on the first day of the storm.
Day by day and week by week, the sun added more icicles to its artwork, until the front of the shed resembled a waterfall frozen mid-tumble. The diamond clarity of the ice reflected the surrounding snow, sky, and forest. November ended. December began. The icefall thickened.