When the badly decomposed body of thirteen-year-old Katie Pine is found in an abandoned mine shaft, John Cardinal is vindicated. It was Cardinal who’d kept the Pine case open—insisting she was no mere runaway—and Cardinal had been demoted to the burglary squad for his excessive zeal. But Katie Pine isn’t the only youngster to have gone missing in the rural town of Algonquin Bay, and Cardinal is now given the go-ahead to reopen the files on three other lost kids. When another youth is reported missing, he begins to see a pattern that screams “serial killer.” Meanwhile, the brass have partnered him with Lise Delorme, newly shifted to homicide from the Office of Special Investigations, and Cardinal can’t help but wonder if she’s been sent to keep tabs on him. A guilty conscience makes him think so. Superbly paced, with fully-fleshed characters and utterly convincing police detail, Forty Words for Sorrow is also a novel of place that transcends the genre. Blunt puts us in a small Canadian town in the dead of winter and makes us feel the cold, then turns the cold into a metaphor for the destruction of young lives.
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