The Maple Leaf Mystery Conference is a reader-focused mystery conference this spring spotlighting our favourite Canadian mystery writers and providing skills-based workshops for new and emerging writers. Registration opens March 7th! The conference runs from May 24-28, 2022.
This panel features S. M. Freedman and will be moderated by Barbara Fradkin.
Sidelined to administrative duties, Inspector Michael Green misses the thrill of the chase. So when his daughter Hannah, now a rookie patrol officer, responds to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance in a wealthy suburban neighbourhood, he is intrigued. Both husband and wife deny a problem and, despite Hannah’s doubts, no further police action is taken, but Green encourages her to dig deeper on her own. When the husband disappears and his car is found at the airport, the police conclude he is simply fleeing an unhappy home, a floundering law practice, and a mountain of debt. Until a body is discovered.
While Green’s old friend Brian Sullivan investigates the victim’s work and family, Hannah is haunted by fear that her actions precipitated the murder. On her own time, she begins to dig into questions that linger at the periphery of the case. What has happened to the family dog, which disappeared the same night as the husband? And who is the odd, solitary young Ph.D. student who was researching ducks near the murder site? Her relentless search for answers leads her into the countryside, straight into the path of danger. And another body.
Grace DeRoche escaped the fundamentalist Mormon compound of Brigham and worked to prosecute its leaders. But when loyalists, including her own family, commit mass suicide to avoid jail, Grace retreats into solitude. Racked with guilt and suffering from dissociative identity disorder brought on by childhood abuse, Grace’s life is fragmented and full of blind spots. Dissociative triggers are everywhere, and she never knows when an alter personality will take the reins.
When other Brigham escapees die under suspicious circumstances, Grace’s tenuous hold on reality crumbles. Notes left at each scene quote scripture and accuse the deceased of committing sins so grievous that atonement can only be achieved through the spilling of blood. As evidence mounts against her and one of her alter personalities becomes the prime suspect, Grace must determine if she’s a murderer … or the next victim.