The Girl in the Wall by Alison Preston. Signature Editions, 2011.
I wrapped up my 2011 reading year with the latest book in Alison Preston’s Frank Foote series. I have no idea why these books aren’t more popular. My local library doesn’t carry any of Preston’s books. Consequently, when I saw there was a new book out, I purchased it, but not in paperback format.
The Girl in the Wall was the first book I read on my new KOBO e-reader, which I received as a gift. I took the e-reader with me when I travelled back to the Toronto area to visit relatives at Christmas and found it very handy. The text is easy to read, and the holder I received has a light that allowed me to read in the car after dark without disturbing the driver. I plan to use the KOBO to supplement my usual reading habits by allowing me to download books that my library doesn’t have available or that I might want to read over a longer period of time than the loan period. The KOBO is not like the ‘real thing’, but it is quite handy and I think it will have its place in my reading arsenal.
Getting back to Frank Foote, this outing finds Frank working at home repair and construction. He retired from the Winnipeg police force following the death of his wife. Now, four years later, Frank is depressed. He misses his wife. He misses his next door neighbour and best friend who has also passed away. His kids are growing up and leaving the nest and he is rethinking his decision. Maybe he made a mistake in retiring early. Meanwhile, he and his working partner make a gruesome discovery as they tear down a wall in an old house they are working on: the skeleton of a young woman. How did it get there and who was the girl in the wall?
I really enjoy these low-key character-driven mysteries. No blood and gore. No frantic chases. Just interesting characters and a twisting plot. I’ve never been to Winnipeg, but I’m sure if you were familiar with the city you would also enjoy the local colour. If you haven’t met Frank, I suggest starting with The Rain Barrel Baby, Frank’s first outing.