Published Aug 2013
Alice Pederson has been missing for almost two years from the town of Sunshine, Ontario, and her family members have carried on despite their grief and frustration with a police investigation that has hit a dead end. But when remains are found along a nearby shoreline, a series of surprising events unfolds: one of the last people to see Alice alive leaves town; the local hockey coach is arrested and then crashes his four-seater plane during his escape; the insurance investigator begins to pursue the Pederson family’s claim for reasons of her own. Meanwhile, something out in the bush is making grisly attacks on farm animals, and Native groups are protesting the building of a henge on the grounds of Cam Usher’s wildlife park, an area they know to be a sacred burial site. Adding to the disquiet, an unknown traveller arrives one night carrying a weather-beaten notebook, with instructions to give it only to Alice Pederson.
Moving back and forth in time, and told from a variety of characters’ perspectives, The Mysteries explores the tangled web of relationships in a small town where it seems everyone has something to hide.
Tense, original and observant.
Consummately well written.
McGill is a talented writer, adept at expressing the nuanced, unspoken truths that beg the lies by which we live.