Novel Excerpt
By Maggie Giles

The article on the local news page of the Ottawa Citizen beckoned him, trying to draw his attention away from his surveillance. Blaine drummed his fingers against the glass table in the quaint corner café, eyes darting from the headline to the office door across the road and back.

He’d stared at the door for nearly twenty minutes now, having finished his coffee after only ten. She was taking her time today. He had been about to leave, thinking perhaps he’d missed her when the waitress sauntered by with a refill and the local news page.

Blaine had declined both, but the young woman didn’t acknowledge him. He wasn’t surprised, having spotted the two white earbuds nearly hidden beneath her messy, purple hair. He glanced at the paper. It wouldn’t have been of interest to him if not for that one little word sticking out.

Giving in to the temptation, he grabbed the newspaper, flipping it flat and laying the article in front of him.


A suspect has been charged with first-degree murder after top ACE investor is found dead in Sandy Hill condo.

Police said Julie Kanner, 28, was found dead the morning of September 5 by her roommate. They arrested Rickie Hastings, 34, yesterday morning (September 9) at 11:50 a.m.  Police won’t say how, or if, these two people are related at this time.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Ottawa Police or Crime Stoppers.

Blaine placed the paper down and reached for his phone and Googled Julie Kanner. Her LinkedIn page confirmed his suspicions. Julie wasn’t just an investor; she was an employee of ACE pharmaceuticals. She had a connection to Solydexran.

He put his phone away and looked back at the article, wondering if the infamous drug would make an appearance in the murder or if it was all just a terrible coincidence.

Before he could consider it further, he saw the office door swing open and Doctor Miranda Konch emerged. Abandoning his coffee and leaving a crisp bill on the table, Blaine exited the café and fell into step behind her.

Miranda had disappeared after Blaine’s girls were arrested. In fear, perhaps though Blaine couldn’t be sure. She abandoned her downtown Toronto office and vanished into the depths of Ottawa, starting a new, quiet practice in the suburb of Orléans.

Blaine had expected the doctor to come out with the truth, to reveal that she’d been paid off to distribute a new and seemingly flawless medication. In fact, Blaine had counted on it, but the good doctor surprised him. She didn’t try to save herself, as she had so many times before, instead, she slipped away silently. Blaine couldn’t understand why.

He’d been watching her for two weeks now. Careful to note where she went, who she met, and who kept an eye on her. It was the only way he could keep himself under the radar.

Blaine had been desperate to confront her since the day he found out about her involvement with Solydexran but after she went to the police, Blaine had to be careful.

Now, several months later, Blaine was sure it was safe.

<<< End of Excerpt >>

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