Cold Girl

Cold Girl

Paperback - 2016
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2017 Arthur Ellis Award, Best First Novel -- Shortlisted

2014 Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel -- Winner

It's too cold to go missing in northern B.C., as a mismatched team of investigators battle the clock while the disappearances add up.

A popular rockabilly singer has vanished in the snowbound Hazeltons of northern B.C. Lead RCMP investigator David Leith and his team work through the possibilities: has she been snatched by the so-called Pickup Killer, or does the answer lie here in the community, somewhere among her reticent fans and friends?

Leith has much to contend with: rough terrain and punishing weather, motel-living and wily witnesses. The local police force is tiny but headstrong, and one young constable seems more hindrance than help -- until he wanders straight into the heart of the matter.

The urgency ramps up as one missing woman becomes two, the second barely a ghost passing through. Suspects multiply, but only at the bitter end does Leith discover who is the coldest girl of all.
Publisher: Toronto :, Dundurn,, 2016
ISBN: 9781459734371
Branch Call Number: MYS GRE
Characteristics: 430 pages ; 21 cm


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Dec 22, 2016

Constable Dion is working in the small detachment of Smither, BC, still recovering from a horrific crash one year earlier in which his partner died. He was a well respected detective with the North Vancouver branch at the time. He suffered a serious head injury and has still not regained his ability to remember certain facts or the ability to think logically the way he used to. A popular local female singer has disappeared in a nearby town, New Hazelton and he as well as Lead investigator Dave Leith from Prince Rupert are called in. There is a fear the Pickup Killer may be responsible. The story resembles the missing women along the so called 'Highway of Tears' in northern BC. Dion struggles to put two and two together and the other police officers believe he is a rookie. Sergeant Mike Boston from North Vancouver suddenly appears and becomes part of the investigation team. Dion doesn't know whether he is up checking on him or not. An interesting story but I doubt the RCMP would allow anyone back working in an active investigation unless they had recovered more than Dion had.

Dec 09, 2016

Very loosely based on the missing women along the Highway of Tears, this mystery/police procedural has a strong story-line, some memorable characters, and a lot of northern BC ambiance. When a popular local singer goes missing in the Hazeltons, the local RCMP have to call in help from the other detachments around the area. Lead investigator Leith has a lot on his mind. With other women’s disappearances blamed on the Pickup Killer, was this to become another in the string of unsolved missing women? Or was the singer’s disappearance to blame on one of the locals? Juggling an odd assortment of police officers, winter weather, unusual dashes of lucky events, and the challenges of working away from home for long stretches of time, Leith eventually discovers what happened that winter day. This novel has a few little rough spots (to be expected from a first novel) but the story and the characters kept me reading long after I should have turned out the light at night.

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