The long-awaited sequel to Operation Wormwood (2018, Flanker Press), The Reckoning concludes the story of a disease that appears to only target pedophiles and is accredited to God by those of the Roman Catholic Church.
I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say that Helen C. Escott is Newfoundland’s premier crime-thriller author. Her novels such as Operation Vanished (2019, Flanker Press) and now the two Operation Wormwood books will cement her career as such. All three books lean toward the “cozy’ side of the crime-thriller genre, but they have touches of grittiness that keeps things a little on the edgy side too. Her decades of service as a civilian employee of the RCMP serves her well when it comes to the force’s officers (who are styled after real-life members of the RCMP and RNC) including the crimes and criminals they encounter as well as the investigative process.
[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”#9CC0D0″ class=”” size=”26″]”I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say that Helen C. Escott is Newfoundland’s premier crime-thriller author.”[/perfectpullquote]
The Reckoning continues with the same character ensemble as it’s predecessor: Sgt. Nick Myra of the RNC (Royal Newfoundland Constabulary), Father Peter Cooke, former nun Sister Pius (now Kathis Fagan), pedophile Kevin Macy, nurse Agatha Catania and Dr. Luke Gillespie of the Health Sciences Centre. (As I mentioned in my review of Operation Wormwood, these appear to be the only doctor and nurse working there, and they are always there when something major happens). Kevin Macy is free on a technicality and Sgt. Myra is out to get him behind bars. But will Wormwood kill him before he can do any more harm? This, along with the Roman Catholic Church’s involvement in the global spread of the disease are the two main storylines. The other is Myra’s PTSD and his attempt to reconcile with his ex-wife Maria, which adds a human touch to the otherwise beleaguered Sgt.
As with any mystery (and particularly so here), certain stretches of the imagination are required to keep the story uncluttered and progressive in the telling. As a health care professional, I chafed at some of the medical scenes and the lack of other medical personnel in the care of Wormwood patients, but this is something that will pass unnoticeably to the majority of readers.
I highly recommend the reading of the two books in order, so if you haven’t read Operation Wormwood already, then you should do so before reading The Reckoning. Both books are well-written and contain enough plot lines to keep the reader thoroughly engaged. I know I was! Well done, Ms. Escott!
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 322
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James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. James works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane and their tabby cat Eddie.