cover image The Taken: A Hazel Micallef Mystery Inger

The Taken: A Hazel Micallef Mystery Inger

Ash Wolfe, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25 (432p) ISBN 978-0-15-101353-1

Lovers of twisty but plausible plotting and an out-of-the-ordinary lead will embrace Wolfe's standout second police procedural featuring Canadian Det. Insp. Hazel Micallef (after 2009's The Calling). A bizarre case brings Micallef, who depends on her ex-husband and his new wife as she recovers from a serious back injury suffered in the line of duty, back into action sooner than planned. A body fishermen dredge up from the bottom of a lake in Port Dundas, Ont., turns out just to be a mannequin, but numbers on the dummy lead Micallef to a Web site streaming video that appears to show a man being tortured by his abductor. In a frantic search for clues, Micallef concludes that the kidnapping is somehow linked to a fictional story being run in installments in the local newspaper. It's a testament to Wolfe's storytelling gifts that her reveal of the criminal's identity about midway through heightens rather than diminishes the tension. (July)