Murder is the last thing on Joanne Kilbourn’s mind on a perfect morning in May. Then the phone rings, and she learns that her daughter Mieka has found the corpse of a young woman in an alley near her store. So begins Joanne’s chilling collision with evil in Gail Bowen’s riveting third mystery, The Wandering Soul Murders.
Joanne is stunned and saddened by the news that the dead woman, at seventeen, was already a veteran of the streets. When, just twenty-four hours later, her son’s girlfriend is found dead, drowned in a lake in Saskatchewan’s Qu’Appelle Valley, Joanne’s sunny world is shattered. Her excitement about Mieka’s upcoming marriage, her involvement in the biography she is writing, even her pleasure at her return to Regina all fade as she finds herself drawn into a twilight world where money can buy anything and there are always people willing to pay.
Canadian Bowen's latest, after Love and Murder , is a harrowing look at the difficulties faced by those trying to break away from the effects of an abusive childhood. University instructor Joanne Kilbourn is horrified when her grown daughter Mieka finds the body of Bernice, a teenaged office cleaner, hanging out of a dumpster. Although it looks as though Bernice is another victim in a series of prostitute killings, significant details--including a teddy bear tattoo on the girl's buttocks--persuade police that it is a copycat murder. Concurrently, Mieka prepares for her wedding and Jo's son Peter is pursued by obsessive Christy Sinclair. When Christy becomes an apparent suicide, Jo is surprised to find herself listed as Christy's next of kin; then she learns that Christy also had a teddy bear tattoo. Investigating both deaths, Jo and her TV news director friend Jill run up against an unsavory secret being kept on an island in the northern Canadian woods. This poignant story exposes the danger that can hide in good intentions as Jo's efforts uncover the surprising identity of a sex ring's mastermind and put her young adopted daughter Taylor in danger.