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The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe

The Calling (2008)

by Inger Ash Wolfe

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4252737,710 (3.6)29



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Det. Insp. Hazel Micallef is shocked when a friend is gruesomely murdered in her small town in Canada. As she and her officers investigate, they determine it's a serial killer. This goes way beyond her jurisdiction but her friend's death motivates her to get all the help she can to figure out who did it.

In the early parts of this book, the murder scenes are too graphic for my taste and I almost stopped reading. But, the graphic details are fewer and briefer as the story goes on. The story kept my interest because the killer had an interesting motive for what he was doing. Hazel was tough, smart and likable with some physical and personal difficulties. The ending was a bit far-fetched but overall I liked it. ( )
  gaylebutz | Sep 9, 2016 |
Creepy scary! ( )
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |
When Delia Chandler is found dead in her home with her throat slit, it is up to 61 year old Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef to find the killer. She is acting head of her small police force, three detectives, in the sleepy town of Port Dundas. Rarely is there a murder to investigate. Usually the excitement consists of speeding tickets, car accidents, drunken driving and between herself and Detective Sergeant Ray Greene, everything gets taken care of.


Always under the assumption that her boss is trying to consolidate local police forces to reduce overhead and manpower, Micallef is reluctant to ask for help. However, when a similar murder arises, help is required and is supplied in the form of James Wingate, a replacement for a retired detective, to the shock of Micallef and her staff.

As Micallef and her detectives dig deeper, they find similar unsolved cases and realize they have a very smart and efficient serial killer on their hands, traveling from one coast of Canada to the other. Does this small force have the resources and knowledge to catch him before he commits another murder?

Wolfe, pseudonym for Canadian author Michael Redhill, has created a group of detectives and ancillary characters that should carry them further than the current three books in the series, if that’s his intention. Micallef is your typical divorced 60 year old, with a shaky relationship with her ex-husband, their children and her mother, with whom she lives. Ray Greene is her trusted second in command and Jim Wingate is the smart newcomer. Of course there’s also the loose cannon in the form of Detective Sergeant Adjutor Sevigny, on loan from Toronto. Rounding out the detective squad is Detective Howard Spere, normally offputting, but actually helpful and key to the investigation.

Micallef’s 80+ year old mother, the former mayor of Port Dundas, is trying to slim her daughter down so she can find another man and feeds her inedible, unsatisfying food, yet she eats what she wants, has weekly poker games and knows how to live. It is an interesting contrast.

The plot of The Calling is interesting and can pose some food for thought. The ending is a little too abrupt but that’s OK because the journey to get there is both funny, sad and mystifying. ( )
  EdGoldberg | May 3, 2016 |
I hope this book it the first in a series. The plot was a well constructed murder mystery/detective novel. The characters were wonderful, imperfect and human. Each one had just the hint of something in their background that was not shared with the reader ... yet! That is what makes me hope there will be more. The author is a mystery as well ... a psuedonym for a "well known North American writer" ... thats all we know. Male? Female? I have a guess, but will keep it to myself.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Gruesome, bloody, creepy, disturbing, and yet I was transfixed. If real life hadn't got in the way, I would have finished this in one sitting.

Only one spot made me laugh out loud. That was when I came the bit about a weird group who were described two, maybe three times, as being vegan! Yes, we are a weird bunch. ( )
  VivienneR | Dec 8, 2014 |
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For Margaret, David, and Alice, with love and thanks
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He was precisely on time.
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Hij at een keer per jaar vlees (stiekum, omdat zijn broer het zou afkeuren) en gedurende de tijd die hij in de wildernis buiten Port Hardy had doorgebracht, hoog op Vancouver Island, had hij zich alleen een uitspatting toegestaan tijdens de migratie van de cohozalmen. Hij had een vrouwtje gevangen dat halverwege haar reis naar haar broedplaats was en had haar aan de oever van de rivier rauw verorberd, met graten, eitjes en al. Op die momenten vond hij het prettig om de kracht van het dier in zichzelf te voelen en raakte hij in vervoering door het blinde. onomstotelijke geloof dat deze wezens hadden in hun levenscyclus, dat ze teruggingen naar de plek waar ze waren geboren om te sterven, zicn onbewust van hun pad, maar er wel aan toegewijd , zoals de oceaan wordt gemagnetiseerd door de maan.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0151013470, Hardcover)

There were thirteen crime-scene pictures. Dead faces set in grimaces and shouts. Faces howling, whistling, moaning, crying, hissing. Hazel pinned them to the wall and stood back. It was a silent opera of ghosts.

Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef has lived all her days in the small town of Port Dundas and is now making her way toward retirement with something less than grace. Hobbled by a bad back and a dependence on painkillers, and feeling blindsided by divorce after nearly four decades of marriage, sixty-one-year-old Hazel has only the constructive criticism of her old goat of a mother and her own sharp tongue to buoy her. But when a terminally ill Port Dundas woman is gruesomely murdered in her own home, Hazel and her understaffed department must spring to life. And as one terminally ill victim after another is found—their bodies drained of blood, their mouths sculpted into strange shapes—Hazel finds herself tracking a truly terrifying serial killer across the country while everything she was barely holding together begins to spin out of control.

Through the cacophony of her bickering staff, her unsupportive superiors, a clamoring press, the town’s 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 it’s too late?

In The Calling, Inger Ash Wolfe brings a compelling new voice and an irresistible new heroine to the mystery world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:28 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When a terminally ill woman is found brutally murdered in her home, Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef tracks a terrifying serial killer, who targets terminally ill victims whose bodies are found drained of blood with their mouths sculpted into strange shapes.… (more)

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