“Book 1 in the Hazel Micallef Mystery
“Book 1 in the Hazel Micallef Mystery
This debut crime-fiction novel released in 2008 is a dark and haunting mystery heavy with suspense, a terrific cat and mouse game following officials hot on the trail of a serial killer.
The story has a clever and devious plot that delivers both psychological depth and emotional heights. It has a gruesome beginning, the body of an elderly woman stricken with cancer is found brutally murdered and drained of all her blood. When the detectives arrive they witness a scene that would be a great opening for any horror movie. Their preliminary instincts are: could this be a desperate assisted suicide or an outright sadistic slaughter?
The 61 year old Hazel Micallef, the protagonist, is the Acting Chief inspector of Dundans, Ontario. Viewing this macabre murder scene is a first for Hazel, since her early days as a police officer she has dealt with drunks, trespassers and occasional domestic disturbances, typical small town issues. The investigation takes another spin when a few days later a man is killed in Chamberlain, a small town some kilometers east. The two cases raise alarm bells for Hazel and her team when they find strong similarities with murders in other jurisdictions. One theory quickly comes to the forefront Canada has a serial killer for hire specializing in the terminally ill and preying on people desperate to end their suffering. As they unravel the mystery the pace accelerates to a wrenching powerful conclusion.
This novel is a great addition to the serial killer genre, a thought provoking and well-written mystery with unique and compelling characters surrounded by a believable and well-drawn supporting cast. Some may find the police tactics somewhat over the top and full of technical errors however this fictional story skilfully brings to life the contrasts between rural and urban policing. The author’s imagination and originality go a long way in making the suspense a captivating time between the pages.
This is another series that has piqued my interest and is on my TBR list.”
“All-in-all a good book - the basis behind the storyline was interesting, but a little gruesome. Once I got past that, it was a good read - following the characters as they deal with the situation and solve the mystery. (Don't want to give too much away) Book is based in Canada.”VictorianFan wrote this review Thursday, February 17, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I liked the overall storyline, and I liked that the main character, the head detective in charge was a female in her 60s - I haven't read too many books with an older, tough female character. There were a few parts of the book that I thought were irrelevant and could have been left out, and there were parts that I thought weren't detailed (backstory only hinted at). I would give this 3.5 if that was an option - not 4 since I wasn't really moved to read anymore books in this series.”Girlxoxo wrote this review Monday, December 27, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“a little disappointing--the supporting characters were somewhat muddy...”Gayle S wrote this review Thursday, November 4, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I found this book "difficult" to read until well past the half way mark, then it took off and swiftly became an enjoyable read. Perhaps it is a tendency of a first novel? I will try one more of this author's works before leaving the author alone.”Darlene wrote this review Tuesday, October 12, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Most excellent! Terrific character development and a plot that kept the pages turning. Can't wait to read the second Hazel Micallef mystery.”LDD wrote this review Saturday, September 4, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I chose this series because it's based in rural Ontario, Canada - the protagonist a female OPP detective. Wolfe writes with good style and pacing and her characters are well defined. The drawback, for me, is that this is an "inside the head of a serial killer" story - not something I would normally read. Wolfe has another in the series coming out next month, though, so I'll reserve judgment for now.”travelingmamma wrote this review Monday, July 5, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Set in small town of Port Dundas, Ontario, Canada, the book opens with the murder/assisted suicide of elderly cancer suffer Delia Chandler. If the murderer had merely assisted Delia into that final sleep, chances are that no one would have been wiser. However, he brutally slashes her throat post-mortem after he drained her blood. In addition, her mouth has been deliberately shaped as if she were yelling in her final moments.
Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef, a sixty-one year old divorcee with a bad back, is the acting commander of her small police department, and it is through her investigation and after another similar murder in a nearby town that it becomes clear that there is a serial killer loose in Canada taking advantage of terminally-ill people for his own, unclear reasons.
I really enjoyed this book. Hazel is a very interesting, flawed character, and the rest of cast is equally interesting. I particularly enjoyed young Detective Constable James Wingate, and Detective Sergeant Adjutor Sevigny, and hope they return in Wolfe's sequel which is due to come out in July, 2010.