CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 21 . . . . May 22, 2001
"I know I'm not supposed to interfere in an official police investigation, but from where I stand there doesn't seem to be much of an investigation. In fact, all I'm doing is keeping the book from being closed on Grey entirely." She crossed her arms. "In fact," she said rather more loudly than she intended, "it's starting to resemble a good old lynching party and Sergeant Gellar's got the rope."Sixteen-year-old January Founier is shocked when an RCMP officer comes to take her to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary after her brother, Grey, has a motorcycle accident. She is horrified when the officer tells her that her brother had the accident on a stolen motorcycle. The officer in charge of the investigation, Sergeant Gellar, seems to have made up his mind that Grey is responsible for the rash of motorcycle thefts that have been plaguing the town of Bragg Creek. January is certain that her brother is innocent and that Sergeant Gellar's prejudice against natives will keep him from searching for any suspects other than her Metis brother. The only course of action, January believes, is to do her own investigating, with the help of her friend and co-worker, Josh. January is determined to prove her brother is innocent.
Lightning Rider is a competent mystery, although it is somewhat hampered by some fairly two-dimensional characters. Sergeant Gellar is a consistently one-note character, as when he tells January that her "people are not known for their astute judgement, are they?" January's quest involves her in several dangerous situations that will keep readers' interest, and Grey's recuperation is realistically portrayed. The mystery, itself, is wrapped up neatly and without resorting to the introduction of new information, surprises or twists.
Betsy Fraser is a librarian with Calgary Public Library.
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