Shortlisted for the 2019 Arthur Ellis Best First Crime Novel Award
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When an elderly man is carried into the emergency department with severe nosebleeds and excruciating pain, it sets off a chain of events that leaves doctors mystified. Dr. Luke Gillespie and Nurse Agatha Catania investigate their symptoms but are unable to diagnose them. The only thing they have in common is Sgt. Nicholas Myra, an investigator with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. Dr. Gillespie and Sgt. Myra join forces to solve this twisted mystery. But the story takes a critical turn when Sister Pius, a nun from Mercy Convent, informs them about Wormwood: a disease she believes is created by God to kill perpetrators of the most heinous crimes.
Can they unravel this mystery as the church, the media, the police, and the medical profession all vie to have their voices heard in the court of public opinion?
"Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! With skilled, detective-like precision, Escott kept me at the edge of my seat throughout this well-told story of hurt and faith. Filled with a ton of well-researched facts and figures regarding Newfoundland and Labrador s history, criminal investigative processes, and relevant political complications, this novel fills the reader s need for action, suspense, and emotion. This book will make every Newfoundlander and Labradorian reflect on their complicated history and fully intrigue those who come from away. Operation Wormwood is wicked . . . simply wicked . . . in every definition of the word." --E. B. Merrill, S/Sgt. (Rtd.), Royal Canadian Mounted Police
"At the heart of this gut-wrenching, savagely realistic novel is a deep theological struggle: why does evil against the most vulnerable go unpunished by a loving, all-powerful God? Escott combines first-hand police experience, superb storytelling, and deep faith in this Dan Brown style epic." --Rev Robert Cooke
"Operation Wormwood is one heck of a thriller" -- The Telegram
Helen C. Escott retired from the world renowned Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in 2014 as the Senior Communications Strategist for Newfoundland and Labrador. Before joining the RCMP she worked in the media for 13 years (OZ FM/ VOCM/ CJYQ) in various positions including reporter, on-air personality, marketing and promotions.