Barbara Fradkin is a Ph.D. child psychologist and is a product of Montreal. She attended McGill University and the University of Toronto. She has been a full time child psychologist, but has recently left full-time work to pursue writing. She has written many short stories, which have been published in several magazines. She is sort of a combination of Sherlock Holmes' and Doctor Watson's feminine side.
Michael Green, Ottawa Inspector and father of both a brooding teenager and a fairly new baby, is an intelligent Jewish sleuth who is both persistent and caring about both his job and his growing family. While his psychologist wife, Sharon, deals with Bob, a carpenter of dubious work patterns, their dog, baby and his rebellious daughter Hannah, Green rides along with Brian Sullivan, who has called him to a town by the name of Ashford Landing. A body has been found at the base of an ancient bell tower in an abandoned church, and it turns out to be one of the Pettigrews. But, who is it? The remaining family member, Robbie, was the youngest, and the family's history of tragedy drove him away from any contact with his brothers:
"Colour began to return to Robbie's face. 'I haven't seen my brothers in many years. Ohmigod, let me think.' He stood abruptly and carried the photo over to the light. While they waited, Green absorbed impressions about the room. It was neat and uncluttered, but the furniture was heavy, dark and worn, the carpet on the floor stained and threadbare. There were no pictures of family, or smiling children, or even his father."
Dr. Fradkin has created a dysfunctional family which is pure Alfred Hitchcook in this dark and intelligent mystery. Inspector Green, operating in a tumultuous time for both his personal life and his professional standing as a police officer, is forced to single-handedly prove that not only did a murder occur, but then to sort through the myriad of motives caused by an event that took place twenty years in the past. This is a character-driven psychological thriller of a mystery that is a page turner from page one. Bravo!