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When the Flood Falls (The Falls Mysteries #1)
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When the Flood Falls

(The Falls Mysteries #1)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  36 reviews
When a phantom stalker targets her only friend, Lacey McCrae’s crime-busting skills are tested to their limits.

With her career in tatters and her marriage receding in the rear-view mirror, ex-RCMP corporal Lacey McCrae trades her uniform for a tool belt and the Lower Mainland for the foothills west of Calgary. Amid the oil barons, hockey stars, and other high rollers livin
Paperback, 424 pages
Published July 14th 2018 by Dundurn
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3.60  · 
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 ·  82 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars
This book takes place in Bragg Creek, western Alberta, Canada. It is about 30 miles/50 kilometers west of Calgary, where the plains meet the Rocky mountains. Since June 2013 when a flash flood did major damage to Bragg Creek, locals watch the creek with apprehension, as snow melt causes the river to rise to dangerous levels. Lacey McCrae is a burnt out ex RCMP cop. She has not only quit her job, but is in the middle of divorcing her abusive husband, another Mountie. She has left her home
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lacey McCrae is running from the tatters of her life. Her career with the RCMP is over. Her divorce is pending. She needs a change. So, she moves back to Bragg Creek, west of Calgary, to start over. Taking a temporary job with the crew installing security systems and the vault for the new Foothills History Museum and staying with her friend, Dee, she tries to pull herself together. Dee feels she is being stalked, but nobody ever sees the stalker. When it escalates into a hit-and-run attempt on D ...more
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
When the Flood Falls is the first in a new mystery series that focuses on ex-RCMP officer, Lacey McCrae.

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy When the Flood Falls as much as I had anticipated. The pacing of the novel is incredibly slow, especially within the first 150 pages, and it lacked suspense.

The first 150 pages are setup for the mystery. During those chapters, nothing exciting happens in terms of plot because Barnard takes her time with the setting and characters. This isn’t necessarily a criticis
Karen Siemens
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and was glad I had a whole day free to read it in one sitting. The characters are interesting - at first I was a bit put off with their flaws, then I realized that they are just like the rest of us - flawed and yet continuing to live their lives and help their friends. I liked to see the story developing from different perspectives - it serves as a reminder to step back and reconsider your first impressions.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have had the most wonderful Canadian vacations and I was drawn to this book because of the setting and it did not disappoint. Lacey McCrae has left her marriage and her job as an RCMP officer and is trying to figure out what comes next. She has a temporary job at the Bragg Creek and Foothills History Museum and has been sleeping on the couch of a former colleague. Her finances are pretty well depleted and until the details of her divorce and settlement are finalized, she really needs her job. ...more
In this eclectic blending of art and hockey we meet three very strong, but very different women, each dealing with personal challenges. Ex-RCMP Corporal Lacey McCrae, newly divorced from an abusive husband, struggling to forge a new life. Dee Phillips, Lacey’s old friend from university days, dealing with a stalker while directing the opening of a new art gallery in the affluent Calgary foothills. And, perhaps, most interesting, Jan Brenner, Dee’s friend and neighbour, coping with debilitating i ...more
Kirstie Ibrahim
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great mix of characters in this story. I went through this book thinking I knew who the villain was, then I changed my mind but was still wrong. There's so much going on in this story to keep you entertained. I think about half way is when things started to get more interesting for me. Great mystery and suspense with some twists and turns to keep you thinking.
J.E. Barnard's debut novel, When the Flood Falls, introduces three troubled women who have to fight past their fears. Despite their initial distrust of each other, they find common ground in their need to find a killer.

Lacey McCrae's husband, a fellow officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was abusive. After her divorce, she left the force, and fled. She's hiding out west of Calgary at the edge of the wilderness, working security at a soon-to-be-opened Arts Centre. She's staying with her
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put this book down! The kind of book I like to read in one sitting, but even with interruptions like kids needing to be fed and dentist appointments, I was completely immersed in the story from the first page to the last. First of all, I enjoyed getting to know the characters, who all felt very real and relatable. Their strengths and struggles, and how they meet those struggles, bring them off the page and into the world we all inhabit as human beings - quite refreshing, actually. The ...more
Ellen Pickett
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This may well be my favourite book of 2018. Barnard writes with a poet's grasp of language. The settings, Calgary and a town in the foothills, provide real Canadian content.

The intertwining plots of a stalker, hit-and-run accidents, the opening of an art gallery, and a missing person, kept me riveted from the first page to the surprising conclusion.

The three main characters, all previously strong women, are coping with serious challenges. Lacey, retired from the RCMP, tries to unravel the stalki
Breakaway Reviewers
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
When a stalker is too good at stalking.

Ex Canadian cop Lacey McCrea’s life is in tatters. Nowhere to live and no real job, so when her friend tells her she is being stalked, Lacey investigates. She is not sure if there is a stalker or if her friend is imagining it.

As the melting snow swells the river, Lacey must decide whether there is a stalker or if something else is afoot.

Well, this book is so miserable. I hated the characters as they all had a grievance against the world. It wasn’t just th
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In J.E. Barnard's When the Flood Falls, the first installment in the Falls Mystery series, this gripping debut will send you chills all over from the first page to the last. Lacey McCrae was an ex-Mountie in Bragg Creek, when they prepare for the flood of the Eagle River. And while she worked for a security farm, her friend Deandra "Dee" Phillips asked her for her help with a particular issue. She believed that someone's been stalking her. So she informed her boss to set up some video surveillan ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun, suspenseful read! Loved the peaceful, village setting in picturesque SW Alberta that gradually morphs into the scene of mysterious happenings. The reader is pulled into the story learning intimate details of life in the seemingly tight knit community, while being treated to fascinating glimpses of the lives and lifestyles of those involved in professional hockey and the intricacy of running of an art gallery. The mystery unfolds with lots of false leads and dead ends leaving the reader no ...more
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was extremely slow for the first half of the book. The plot and character development was lacking. I really was hoping that this book was going to be great. I considered DNFing this book but I kept going. Even though it did pick up I felt it was too little too late. Thanks to NetGalley for letting me review this book.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book 1 in a new suspense series , The Falls, that has an ex Canadian Mountie. Lacey, visiting her friend outside Calgary. Dee Phillips lives in a moneyed area because she got her home in a divorce settlement but someone is stalking her, hoping to drive her crazy. Well written with a several suspects has Lacey sifting through the clues and now a murder. Looking forward to more books with this wonderful cast of people.
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 and 1 / 2 stars

Lacey McCrea is a former RCMP police officer. She has now gone to a little town outside of Calgary to visit her friend Dee Phillips, a former college roommate, and to recover from her divorce. She doesn’t really have a job. Dee offers to let her stay at her lovely home while she is in the area.

Dee also has a problem. She has a night time stalker who may or may not be real. Lacey agrees to help her figure out who it is and stop them.

The area in which Dee lives is known for its
When the Flood Falls is set in Canada, with a female protagonist. Lacey has recently left the force due to personal issues and some blatant sexism that she could no longer deal with. She gets a security job offer and takes it while helping an old uni friend. The friend Dee lives in a creepy isolated house and has been having strange occurrences that are interfering with her sleep and life in general. The mystery encompasses ideas about art, independence, drug addiction and chronic illness, power ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When the Flood Falls is the first book in the Falls Mystery Series by author J. E. Barnard.

When the Flood Falls is set outside of Calgary, Alberta in the small town of Bragg Creek. Bragg Creek is a wealthy enclave in the foothills. There is a river that runs through town that has caused wide spread devastation in the past from flooding. In the early stages of the book the river is rising!

Lacey McRae has recently retired from the RCMP and is setting a new path for herself. Staying with an old fri
Julie Ferguson
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book as a digital ARC.
This mystery left me guessing to the end. Fast-paced, strong characters, and a good plot. Recommended to all mystery lovers.
Jun 15, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
July 2018, available as an ebook and a paperback, this 2016 winner of the Unhanged Arthur Award for the Best Unpublished First Crime Novel sounds like a great read. Not sure if it's available only in Canada or in the US as well. At least it's on my to read list!
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the Flood Falls is a gripping first installment in J.E. Barnard's new series, The Falls Mysteries.

After recently resigning from the RCMP, Lacey McCrae is working as a gofer for a security firm that is installing a security system for a new art museum. Her temporary position provides her with the opportunity to reconnect with her former university roommate, Dee Phillips, who is president of the museum board. Lacey quickly realizes all is not right with Dee who, like her, is recently divorced
Reading in the Rockies
When the Flood Falls is a book club book we will be discussing in April 2019; however, I had the opportunity to meet the author and wanted to read her book first, so picked it up in September 2018.

After reading the book, but before meeting the author, I made some notes as to some of the things I didn’t like about the book, including some discrepancies and editing errors. I’d also written that characters weren’t relatable or likeable, motive was weak, original storyline was not wrapped up by the
Aida Alberto
I received an advanced ARC of this book from NetGalley and all opinions are my own. If you're like me and like discovering new authors this book is a definite pick up. I loved the well told story with the strong characters. Her writing is tight and vivid and I really felt as if I was in rural Calgary. I am looking forward to reading more books from this amazing author. Happy reading! #Falls #NetGalley
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow-burning mystery that refuses to be put down, especially once you reach That Point--which you'll know when you get there, but I won't spoil for you here. I liked the character Jan the best, with her "Rear Window" vibe--spying on the neighbors with her binoculars.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again I’ve been able to read an Arthur Ellis nominated for Best Novel as the first in a new series and by an author who is new to me without having to read it out of order. Also against my usual practice I’ve rated this book 4 stars which I rarely do for the 1st book in a series and probably never for the 1st book by a new, to me author but I just couldn’t find enough faults in the book to justify downrating any lower. And I broke another rule and paid for a book written by an author whose ...more
Emily Colligan
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second half of the book was engaging and developed a great mystery with a surprise twist. Just when I thought I figured out the murderer the author cleverly twisted it! It was literally the last character I would have suspected for most of the book.

The first half, however was rough. Too much unnecessary back story and the writing itself was very jumbled. I had to really push myself to keep reading. In my opinion, the first half of the book could be cut and not be missed. Add a couple paragr
Kathleen Gray
I liked this mostly for the setting and for the three women- Lacey, Dee, and Jan- who band together to figure out who is stalking Dee and later who hit Dee with a car. Lacey's a former RCMP officer who is now working security and so she doesn't have a badge to investigate. All three women are flawed and not one of them is especially likable (although I was most sympathetic to Jan). The young and privileged hockey players are well drawn. This would have benefited from another edit to tighten it u ...more
What a complete disaster of a book. I felt like I was reading the 4th book in a series and I didnt understand anything because it was important to read 1, 2, and 3 first—BUT THIS WAS THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES. Nothing made any sense at all. And the pace—OMG S-L-O-W. I tried to keep going, because this book (allegedly) featured 2 of my favorite things—hockey and Canada. I just couldnt do it. #NoCanada
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
new author to me, and I enjoyed this. The main character, Lacey was a little myopic in who she thought was the bad guy (and I guessed wrong til very near the end) but I would probably read another in the series.
Teresa Mills-clark
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super! Another Canadian author discovered!
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J.E. Barnard’s first novella, Maddie Hatter and the Deadly Diamond, was a 2016 Prix Aurora finalist. When the Flood Falls won the Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award in 2016. She lives in Calgary.

Other books in the series

The Falls Mysteries (2 books)
  • Where the Ice Falls (The Falls Mysteries #2)