The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe (♦♦♦♦♦)
A man “who calls himself Simon” is crossing Canada from west to east, dispatching terminally ill people with some sort of consent; first he poisons them, then he desecrates their bodies. The first murder to come to police attention happens in Port Dundas, a small town several miles north of Toronto.
Ontario Police Services have cut the budgets of police departments everywhere in its jurisdiction, so police stations are short staffed and in serious need of back up. It is under these conditions that these murders begin to cascade one after the other and Port Dundas’ Detective Constable and acting Chief of Police Hazel Micallef has no choice but throw the police rules book out the window and think on her feet to catch this elusive and smart killer.
Furthermore, Hazel-- a sixty-one year-old divorcee who lives with her mother--is having health problems that may jeopardize her future in the police corps. It is under that duress that Hazel endures the worst two weeks of her life while trying to capture the monster; meanwhile he decides to up the ante by making his capture a personal matter to Hazel.
When I finished reading The Calling all I said was wow! This book is immersed in police procedure and is as based in science as it is in religious lore. The Calling takes the reader on an unforgettable journey for the murders are gruesome and the descriptions so vivid that at least in one occasion I felt like throwing up, I literally gagged. The quest to capture “the man who calls himself Simon” is anything but conventional.
The Calling is grisly but so absorbing that I just couldn’t stop reading from beginning to end. The characters are very well developed and there’s always a sense of dread for the investigation doesn’t progress at the speed one would like as a reader. In any case, the book is anything but slow and a pure adrenaline ride but I have to remark that it’s not for the faint of heart; it is a hard-core murder mystery and the active word here is murder.