Charlottetown, the small-town capital of Canada’s smallest province, sat two hundred and fifty miles north and a little west of Meat Cove, Nova Scotia. In the Gulf of St Lawrence. Across the Northumberland Strait.
The Abegweit Mall just outside Charlottetown was nothing special. Sold the same junk people find everywhere. The difference was in the kids who hung there. Even on rural, postcard-perfect Prince Edward Island (aka. The Garden of the Gulf), morals were not what they once were. Pre-pubescent girls dressed like Montreal hookers trolled the malls. Boys slouched along, caps angled sideways, their bony asses hanging out of pants slung low, defying gravity, attached as if by invisible velcro strips to skinny upper thighs. Attracting all kinds of attention. Mostly the wrong sort. Puzzlement or scorn. Or worse.
Then there were the nice kids. Good kids. Like Beth and Jay.
Bethany Williams turned fourteen that August. Her boyfriend Jason Carver turned fifteen two months to the day before they were tagged.
Jason and Bethany awaited pick-up by Jay’s Dad. Mr. Carver was never late. Some hold-up at the office, no doubt. He’d call or show up soon. He’d better. Bethany checked her phone. It was already 4:30. Bible study began promptly, fifteen minutes from now and a twenty minute drive away.
No one, least of all the tardy Mr. Carver, who forgot it was his turn to pick up the kids, imagined the true fate awaiting Bethany Williams and his favourite child and only son Jason. One family would be torn apart. The other driven closer together, their grief binding them in a suffocating tangle of inexpressible rage, blame and despair.
Bethany Williams, fourteen and fully budded, and fifteen year old Jason Carver, tall and strong, were not seen again. Until Royal Canadian Mounted Police Major Crimes Investigator Sergeant Waldron ‘Gandhi’ MacKinnon interrupted his forced semi-retirement in Seacow Pond, on the western end of Prince Edward Island where he’d installed himself in the long-since abandoned family farm to contemplate his future.
What Gandhi witnessed in Montreal, then in Vermont, the day after Bethany and Jason disappeared chilled him to the bone. He wish he’d never left home in the first place…
Click on the link below to download the entire free sample chapter of Meat Cove: Chapter 2 is free! (an account is required)