Review: A Door in the River by Inger Ash Wolfe

9th October 2012

*I received this from the publisher Pegasus in exchange for an honest review.

DI Hazel Micallef doesn’t believe a bee killed Henry Wiest. The man is a fixture in Kehoe Glenn, and something is off. Found outside a cigarette shop on the First Nations Reserve, Henry’s death is written off as accidental, and the reservation police don’t dig much further than that. Hazel isn’t satisfied. Henry didn’t smoke, and why was he on the reservation in the first place? The more questions she asks, the more disturbing the answers that DI Micallef finds until the resulting chaos can’t be ignored by anyone.

This is the kind of case that news reporters say “rock the small community” with its violence. I received this book in the mail without having heard of it before, I picked it up to read the first couple chapters and spent the ensuing afternoon and evening reading every last page of this book.

A Door in the River is one in a series of mysteries featuring Hazel Micallef, and I could definitely tell I was missing some of her personality and background because this was the first I’d read. Hazel is recovering from back surgery. She’s divorced, and her elderly, ailing mother has moved in with her. There are also a lot of changes going on at work, and I felt a bit in the dark with the references to past work history. However, the lack of background didn’t affect the overall novel (I particularly hate information dumps), which was paced well and extremely suspenseful. The book opens with a girl on the run and a dying man. How she figures into the story is what the rest of the novel works to figure out.

With a little Lisbeth Salander-style revenge and a lot of tension, A Door in the River was a great introduction to Kehoe Glenn and DI Micallef.

[Note: I would recommend beginning this series with the first book, The Calling.]

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  • heidenkind

    So this takes place on an Indian reservation, then?

    • Partially. And it’s a Canadian reservation.

  • Charlie

    I think the way you started reading it is in itself a recommendation, loving the sound of a book you can get into without info-dumps despite being the second of a series, I guess info-dumps are useful for grabbing new readers but it can be irritating too sometimes. The setting sounds good, as does the additional plot of Hazel’s life.

    • Yeah, and some info dumps are less painful than others. This was an unexpected surprise because, as I said, it wasn’t one I had heard about before.