Review: When the Flood Falls by J.E. Barnard

Title: When the Flood Falls by J.E. Barnard
The Falls Mysteries Series Book One
Publisher: Dundurn
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 424 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


When a phantom stalker targets her friend, Lacey McCrae’s crime-busting skills are tested to their limits.

With her career in tatters and her marriage receding in the rear-view mirror, ex-RCMP corporal Lacey McCrae trades her uniform for a tool belt, and the Lower Mainland for the foothills west of Calgary. Amid the oil barons, hockey stars, and other high rollers who inhabit the wilderness playground is her old university roommate, Dee Phillips. Dee’s glossy life was shaken by a reckless driver; now she’s haunted by a nighttime prowler only she can hear.

As snowmelt swells the icy river, threatening the only bridge back to civilization, Lacey must make the call: assume Dee’s in danger and get her out, or decide the prowler is imaginary and stay, cut off from help if the bridge is swept away.


When the Flood Falls is a gripping first installment in J.E. Barnard’s new series, The Falls Mysteries.

After recently resigning from the RCMP, Lacey McCrae is working as a gofer for a security firm that is installing a security system for a new art museum. Her temporary position provides her with the opportunity to reconnect with her former university roommate, Dee Phillips, who is president of the museum board. Lacey quickly realizes all is not right with Dee who, like her, is recently divorced. She finally gets Dee to open to her and  her concern turns to outright worry when Dee confesses someone appears to be stalking her. Lacey is quick to offer to help her figure who is behind the mysterious goings on, but will she uncover the identity of the elusive perpetrator?

Due to her experiences with her abusive ex, Lacey is quick to believe that Dee’s ex-husband Neil is behind the recent events. She becomes even more convinced after she makes an unexpected discovery, but can she find the proof to back her supposition? The situation with Dee soon takes a shocking turn which also coincides with the disappearance of Jarad Fiske, the young hockey player who, months early, was involved in a hit and run in which Dee was injured and her dog was killed.

As the search  for Jarad intensifies, Lacey continues her investigation into who would want to harm Dee. She still believes Neil might be responsible, but with the help of Dee’s neighbors, Jan and Terry Brenner, they widen their search for the suspect. The case takes a stunning turn when the reason for Jarad’s disappearance is revealed.

Despite a bit of a slow start, When the Flood Falls is an interesting mystery with an engaging cast of characters. The investigation into who is stalking Dee moves a steady pace but Lacey suffers from tunnel vision for a good part of her quest for answers. With plenty of unexpected twists and some fantastic red herrings, J.E. Barnard brings the novel to an action-packed conclusion. Fans of the genre will enjoy this first novel in The Falls Mysteries series.

Comments Off on Review: When the Flood Falls by J.E. Barnard

Filed under Contemporary, Dundurn, JE Barnard, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Suspense, The Falls Mysteries Series, When the Flood Falls

Comments are closed.