FOUR days short of her 10th wedding anniversary, lobster boat captain Angel Roberts has gone missing.
The disappearance is uncharacteristic. After all, it takes enormous strength of character to operate any commercial fishing business, let alone as a woman in this male-dominated industry. It’s always been especially hard for Roberts, with her father and brothers watching over her shoulder and husband Clément competing with her for the pick of the catch.
When her vessel is located, Roberts isn’t on board. It seems clear that she must have been at the wheel when Close Call II motored out of port towards the Gulf of St Lawrence but where is she now? She hasn’t been seen since Clément drove her home from an end-of-season party late on Saturday night; she was gone by the time he returned to their house the following day.
It’s at this point that police Detective Sergeant Joaquin Moralès is called in.
A relatively recent recruit to policing in Canada’s Gaspé Peninsula, Moralès is still finding his feet in this isolated chain of communities where everyone seems to know and/or share blood ties with everyone else. It’s more than merely a few hours’ drive away from Moralès original base in Montréal; this might as well be another planet.
The unexpected arrival of his younger son isn’t helping. Moralès is torn between honouring his duty to search for Roberts and trying to figure out why Sébastien has shown up without warning and horribly drunk.
Weighed down by one colleague who’s at best unco-operative and at worst outright hostile and another who’s a touch eccentric and rather reluctant to leave the comfort of the station, Moralès has little support. Even the fishing fraternity is against him – although Moralès is doing his utmost to find down one of their own, Roberts’ peers certainly aren’t offering any help.