It's the start of fall term at Woodmore Academy, a private school in Oakville, Ontario. Pamela Renard, a brilliant Mohawk teen at Woodmore, is struggling with a white racist bully, her fellow student Rose Molloy. But not for long. First Pamela and then Rose show up dead in strange circumstances. Sol Fitzgerald, a troubled young janitor, finds Pamela's body in the school's quadrangle. She fell, or was pushed from, Woodmore's four-storey library.
A week later, on Pamela's reserve - nearby Coyote River First Nation - some boys discover Rose's body lying in a field. Two hunting arrows protrude from her back. Because a land-claim protest is raging at the border between the reserve and Ewing, a neighbouring town, the police wonder: are the two deaths connected? And could a racial tit-for-tat be behind them?
Meanwhile in Oakville, Sol becomes a suspect in Pamela's murder. He begins his own investigation - to avoid prosecution but more so to find Pamela's killer: he had tried to help the young scholarship student deal with Rose's racist slurs and pranks. So it's a big problem that Sol, a binge-drinking alcoholic, remembers nothing from the night Pamela died. The Halton Region police know he spent time in prison for aggravated assault. They're also aware he knew Pamela. With no alibi, Sol is desperate to find the truth behind the killings.
But Sol also wonders about the truth of Pamela and Rose's rocky relationship. He hopes they might have reached a mutual respect - even grudgingly - before they died. He finds Pamela's diary, and it may provide the answer.
About the Author
R. B. Young has published short stories in literary journals including Postscripts to Darkness, Other Voices, and Great Lakes Review. The year 2018 saw his story Eudaimonia published as a chapbook (Vocamus Press, Guelph). CRIMES OF DISRESPECT is his first novel. In 2017, his short story Paper Icon was included in the book POLISH(ED): POLAND ROOTED IN CANADIAN FICTION (Guernica Editions, Toronto). And in 2012, his story Old Softie was discussed on the show All in A Day, on CBC Radio One, Ottawa. Young has worked as an urban planner, web designer, and architect. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.