cover image Fall from Grace

Fall from Grace

Laurali R. Wright, L. R. Wright. Viking Books, $18.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-670-83130-2

The tiny village of Sechelt on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast is the verdant backdrop for Wright's novels of crime and compassion featuring RCMP sergeant Karl Alberg ( A Chill Rain in January ). In this fourth tale, Alberg and his lover, Cassandra, have a short-lived romantic sailing jaunt when Cassandra spots a body falling from a cliff to the beach below. The victim, Steven Grayson, had returned to Sechelt after a decade's absence, harboring a dark secret--somehow related to Bobby Ransome's release from prison. Bobby's homecoming kindles passions in his family, his old girlfriends and their husbands. The palpable force of an unusually scorching heat wave transforms the Pacific Northwest into a Tennessee Williams setting, suitable for the adultery, wife-beating and estrangement that lead to violent emotions and murder. Wright engenders empathy for victim and killer alike. Alberg continues to be a most appealing protagonist--akin to P. D. James's Dalgleish and Ruth Rendell's Wexford, but with a quintessentially Canadian voice. (Nov.)