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The Globe and Mail

Review: Inger Ash Wolfe's The Night Bell sets a high bar for crime

The Night Bell
Inger Ash Wolfe
McClelland & Stewart

It's too early in the year to predict the best novels of 2016, but The Night Bell, Inger Ash Wolfe's latest in the wonderful Hazel Micallef series, sets the bar as high as it goes. This fourth novel under Toronto author Michael Redhill's pen name is the best in what's been an unbroken string of winners. It has character, setting, plot and suspense that keeps you reading to the last page. We are, of course, in the town of Port Dundas where Sheriff Micallef has old unsolved deaths on her hands. Bones of children have been discovered on the site of an abandoned foster home. The case of murdered children raises all kinds of spectres. The land is part of a new subdivision of homes whose residents are already raising questions about corruption and cover-up. Hazel has hardly begun the investigation into the dead children when three very new and very obviously related murders occur. In the midst of all the furore, Hazel finds herself recalling a very different crime, one that happened in 1959 when her adopted brother was accused of abducting a local girl. Could there be a connection to that disappearance? It seems that if Hazel can find the answer to these crimes, she may be able to finally clear his name. Save this one for a weekend when you don't have to put it down. It's irresistible.

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