The Rain Barrel Baby

Patty Osborne

I often can’t remember the title of a book I’ve read, but I can usually remember the colour of its cover, and blue seems to be my current favourite. A recently published blue book, The Rain Barrel Baby by Alison Preston (Signature Editions), takes place in Winnipeg, a city that seldom enters my reading repertoire. A newborn has been found dead at the bottom of a rain barrel and Frank Foote, police detective, is trying to find out who put it there. Frank lives next door to the house with the rain barrel. He has three kids and a wife who is in and out of the detox centre, which makes him my favourite kind of detective—one with a mixed-up but very human private life. He has lived in Winnipeg all his life, and as the investigation proceeds he is forced to remember people and encounters that he would rather forget. At times I had trouble keeping track of the events and characters in the story, but Frank’s thoughts about his wife, his kids and his job, and the conversations between Frank’s preteen daughter and her rebellious friend Delia, rang so true that I didn’t mind.

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