Several people want Max Berdahl dead.
Max Berdahl is not the man people think he is, and when his body is discovered in a vacant house in the village of Britannia Bay, Detective Sergeants Rossini and Tan must forgo his shady business practices and look into his personal life for a perpetrator and the reason for his murder. These appear to be elusive until a series of chance incidents lead them to the killer and a bizarre motive.
When Max Berdahl, property developer and son of a prominent Jehovah’s Witness family, is found brutally murdered in a vacant home, Detective Sergeants Ray Rossini and Jimmy Tan are charged with solving the first homicide in the island community of Britannia Bay. Their investigation is stymied by the lack of forensic evidence, the failure to find the murder weapon and the reticence of the family to fully cooperate.
The detectives first look to Berdahl’s housing project on the mainland for a suspect. Compromised by a realtor and known sexual predator with links to a dubious offshore owner, Berdahl has purchased two parcels of land but, needing property owned by an aging widow to complete his development, he uses roughshod methods to force her out. The Berdahl family is aware of the questionable provenance of the land, but to Max’s relief have no knowledge of his actions or his carnal transgressions. When the project is completed, he returns to Britannia Bay, where his family closely watches him.
Finding no viable suspects within the widow’s family, Rossini and Tan then delve into Max’s personal life. An off-hand remark, and a series of chance encounters, sightings and accidents lead to a credible suspect. But the motive for murder seems too bizarre. Can there be more to it or will their circumstantial evidence be enough for an arrest?