A pair of Trafalgar, Canada, coppers under stress.
After 25 years of marriage, Sergeant John Winters suddenly finds his wife Eliza, a former model, the leading suspect in the murder of fading fashion photographer Rudolph Steiner, who had an incriminating picture of her. If this sounds dire, consider that Constable Molly Smith has no less than three worries. Will her stalker Charlie Bassing stop before he kills her? Will her father survive a nasty fall and the ensuing hip surgery? And should she marry Adam Trocek of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police? Winters, shunted off the Steiner case by a possible conflict of interest, obsessively pursues a series of B&Es that steadily lead him back to possible persons of interest in the Steiner matter. These include the lensman’s fifth wife, the daughter of a known Canadian mobster; his brawling assistant, a young woman who demands the return of certain photographs belonging to her; and Steiner’s much less successful brother, now working as a handyman at the hotel where Steiner died. Tension escalates between Winters and Eliza. Bassing’s behavior toward Molly turns more aggressive. And a member of the RCMP antagonizes the small Trafalgar police force by misassigning blame, leaving Winters to set the error straight while Molly subdues Bassing alone.
Delany (Winter of Secrets, 2009, etc.) combines the crisp plotting of the best small-town police procedurals with trenchant commentary on such universal problems as love and trust.