- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; First edition (May 19, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156033984
- ISBN-13: 978-0156033985
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 74 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,305,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Calling Paperback – May 19, 2009
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Through the cacophony of her bickering staff, her unsupportive superiors, a clamoring press, the towns rumor mill, and her own nagging doubts, Hazel can sense the dead trying to call out. But what secret do they have to share? And will she hear it before its too late?
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Top customer reviews
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At the beginning of this book, we are introduced to Hazel Micallef, the chief of police in a small town in Ontario, Canada. She is 61, divorced, and she lives with her feisty and funny 87 year old mother, Emily, the former mayor of this town.
Hazel's police duties usually involve her dealing with small town antics, but she now finds herself investigating the gruesome death of a local elderly woman - a woman who suffered from cancer, and who also happened to be the woman that Hazel's father had an affair with, years earlier.
Hazel and her small group of officers end up investigating this crime, and find out that it is the work of a serial killer.
In alternating chapters, we get the story told to us, from the point of view of Hazel, the killer, and from the detectives and victims. We also get to read about the competitiveness and jealousy between the different police departments and agencies, and the problems Hazel faces with her own detectives, and the local newspaper editor, as well.
The ending is satisfying, and interesting, albeit with one reservation, which I'll explain, below.
Hazel Micallef is just a terrifc charcter, She is no cardboard cut-out: she's tough, smart, vulnerable, and yet we see her suffer the indigntiies of aging, as well. (She has a bad back, among other things.) Like I said in the heading, I can just see Helen Mirren play her part in any movie version, of this novel.
The only reason this book did not get 5 stars (and I almost gave it 5 stars for Hazel's part alone), was because I had problems with a part of plot - the killer's actions did not seem consistant with his motives, but rather to add to the gore factor.
I can't say more than that without writing a spoiler. But I do want to say that I did enjoy this book, and I do thouroughly recommend it. I look forward to reading another book by this author, and I have my fingers crossed it will be featuring a certain 61 year old chief of police...
The writing also paints a number of memorable characters, in particular the central figure Det. Insp. Hazel Micallef, a woman in her sixties with real life issues in her personal and professional lives. In other such novels the female lead character would be provided with a strong male counterpart to soften her up and provide some unnecessary romance. Also destined to stay in one's memory is the killer, Simon, a man with a particular calling. It is quite a feat to make such a grotesque character believable without crossing the line to the far fetched and the ridiculous. It will be interesting to see if the author can duplicate this superior effort for her next book.
In short this is a literary novel (in the best sense) that keeps one turning the pages until the story reaches to its inevitable ending. Highly recommended!
Most recent customer reviews
I had read and enjoyed The Night Bell by I.A.W. and decided to go back and start with the first book in the Detective Inspector Hazel...Read more