The Rain Barrel Baby

The Rain Barrel Baby by Alison Preston

Signature Editions, 2000

Frank Foote’s quiet neighbourhood is greening into summer when a dead baby is discovered in his neighbour’s rain barrel. Frank is a cop, and he’s seen a lot of crime scenes, but this one is a little too close to home.

Meanwhile, Gus Olsen, who made the gruesome discovery, is worried about a mysterious woman who has been cruising the neighbourhood in her Lincoln Town Car. He’s been meaning to talk to Frank about her, but there never seems to be a chance. Frank has his hands full, taking care of his three children while their mother dries out in a treatment centre.

He is a good father, he tries to be a good husband, and he hopes he is a good cop, but Frank has old secrets that he is ashamed of. When Ivy Grace resurfaces after a long absence, one thing is certain: before this summer ends, Frank will have to confront his past.

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Alison Preston’s novel is a compelling exploration of the power of secrets in our lives. Her finely drawn characters reveal a writer who is as compassionate as she is sharp-sighted. Down-to-earth, insightful and beautifully written…”

– Gail Bowen


Preston’s treatment of the psychology in this book is superb. She asks the reader to think…”

– Jill M. Smith, Prairie Fire Magazine


…this story shows real talent.”

– Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail


…a compelling read.”

– Kerry Ryan, Herizons