Open Secret

Open Secret

A riveting new Bern Fortin mystery from the author of Confined Space.

Deryn Collier’s debut mystery, Confined Space, was called an “intelligently conceived, suspenseful, and elegantly written story” by The Toronto Star. Now Coroner Bern Fortin is back in a riveting new mystery.

After the abrupt end to his military career Bern has settled into an uneasy peace in his new life in Kootenay Landing—a peace he knows can’t last. Out for a fall hike, he discovers Dr. Juniper Sinclair, the town’s lone doctor, attempting to revive small-time drug dealer Seymour Melnychuk, who has been shot in the forehead. In a seemingly unrelated incident, Gary Dowd abandons his van while crossing the US border. Gary is a local father of two, an accountant, and a steady, predictable guy. He’s also been best friends with Seymour Melnychuk since elementary school.

Bern knows the two disturbing events must be related and works with police constable Maddie Schilling to uncover the hidden ties that connect the two cases. Why was Dr Sinclair already on the scene? Why is there no exit wound on Seymour’s body? Why did Gary Dowd disappear while trying to cross the border? Who truly controls the hills and forests around Kootenay Landing? Amidst the chaos of the case, Bern’s military background comes back to haunt him, forcing him to confront the secrets of his own past that he has long sought to keep buried.

As Bern and Schilling close in on the killer, each is drawn into the case personally and the stakes are higher than anyone can imagine. Everyone has something to hide, and no one in Kootenay Landing seems willing to talk. But Bern Fortin is well aware that no secret can remain buried forever—not even his own.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 448 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476716800 | 
  • April 2014
List Price $18.99

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Open Secret, by Deryn Collier, includes an introduction and discussion questions for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

After the abrupt end to his military career, Bern Fortin has settled into an uneasy peace in Kootenay Landing—a peace he knows can’t last.

Small-time drug dealer Seymour Melnychuk is found dead after being shot in the forehead. In a seemingly unrelated incident, Gary Dowd abandons his van while crossing the US border. Could the incidents be connected? As Bern and police constable Maddie Schilling close in on the killer, they soon find that secrets can’t remain buried forever – not even their own. 

Questions for discussion

1. The Kootenay Landing community is, to some degree, supported by the financial and health benefits of the marijuana industry. Discuss the importance and the detriments of individuals breaking the law for something they believe is their right. 

2. Early in the novel, we are introduced to Cindy Forsberg as a young girl in an abusive and poverty-stricken home. Why do you think the author chose to include this narra see more

More Books from this Author

The Dark Side
Confined Space

About the Author

Deryn Collier
Photograph © Laura Wilby

Deryn Collier

Deryn Collier grew up in Ottawa and Montreal and is a graduate of McGill University. She now lives in Nelson, British Columbia, with her family and welcomes visitors to her blog at DerynCollier.com.

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