When the body of one of the workers is found floating in the huge bottle-washing tank at the local brewery, Bern is called in for a routine investigation. What first appears to be a tragic accident takes a menacing turn when the body of the worker’s girlfriend is discovered in a nearby field. Bern needs the help of brewery safety investigator Evie Chapelle, who, burdened by tragedies she might have prevented, is more determined than ever to keep her workers, and their tight-knit community, safe. Soon, Bern and Evie find themselves risking their jobs—and their lives—to uncover a killer hiding in a place where it is awfully hard to keep a secret.
Deryn Collier’s debut novel is a taut mystery full of suspense. Confined Space was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for best unpublished first crime novel by the Crime Writers of Canada.
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Reading Group Guide
Bern Fortin is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Forces who’s hoping to leave his past behind as he settles in Kootenay Landing, BC. He spends his days harvesting tomatoes and serving as the town’s coroner, when the body of a brewery-worker is found disintegrating in a tank of liquid caustic. Bern’s quiet days are quickly swept up in the investigation as what first appears to be a tragic accident takes a menacing turn.
Alongside safety inspector Evie Chapelle, the two risk their jobs – and their lives – in a race to uncover a killer.
Questions for discussion
1. Why is the book called Confined Space?
2. Why do you think Bern Fortin works as a coroner despite all the negative memories it brings back?
3. Why do you think Bern is drawn to gardening?
4. Why do you think Bern is compelled to find something attractive about each new woman he meets?
5. How does the book explore the idea of authority? How do different characters define authority?
6. The boo see more