Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Name: Derek Chivers
Mentee Name: Carolyne Topdjian
Title: THE MADDENING OF HOLLY ROBIN
Genre: Supernatural Mystery/Suspense
Word Count: 78,000 words
RIVERDALE meets HIMSELF by Jess Kidd
Hiding a scandal which threatens her career and reputation, sociologist Julia Saint Hilaire flees to the sleepy subarctic village of Fort Parry. An eerie encounter with Holly Robin—local bad-girl, missing and presumed dead—leads Julia to discover that like herself, this town has secrets it wants buried. Soon Julia is entangled in a deadly and nightmarish hunt for the truth: either one of the town’s many suspicious residents is responsible, or something far older and darker is at work.
Sunday, July Second
As she watched the taxi disappear down the laneway, Julia Saint Hilaire had one thought: I hate it here already. She slapped a mosquito off her arm and reminded herself this was temporary, just a few months until the lashing tongues eased and her reputation was restored. She could tough it out.
She took a deep breath flavored of fish fry and woodsmoke. Double-checking the house number, she rapped the doorknocker—an austere lion’s head. More fitting a castle than a cottage, the heavy brass emitted an echo through the hollow of the house. A faint voice announced someone coming, and Julia tightened the straps of her rucksack. No going back. The subarctic tree line was too thick, too vast to cross even without snow, and on her meager budget Julia couldn’t afford cab fare to the airfield, much less a return flight to Toronto.
Ten-thirty p.m. and the sun was only now tucking behind the horizon, but after several anxious nights and thirteen hours of travel, nothing would keep Julia from sleep. Not the stubborn daylight. Not the chill of the breeze or symphony of insects. Now that she’d reached her destination—Fort Parry, Manitoba, a fishing hamlet with a population under one thousand—she was done moving. Almost.