Among the Departed
A Molly Smith Mystery by Vicki Delany
Review: When a local boy goes missing, the police are immediately on the scene. A canine unit quickly locates the boy in a wilderness campground, safe and sound, but while pawing the nearby earth, the dog also comes up with some human bones in Among the Departed, the fifth mystery in this series featuring Trafalgar (BC) constable Molly Smith by Vicki Delany.
Forensics determine the bones have been in the ground for about 15 years, about the right time frame when Brian Nowak, the married father of two children, Kyle and Nicky, went out for a walk one Sunday morning and never returned. Molly was a childhood friend of Nicky, and watched as the family imploded on itself afterwards. Mrs. Nowak became a recluse; Kyle turned to art, painting dark and disturbing images; while Nicky ran away from home at 16, living life as a prostitute in Vancouver. The only evidence at the time that something was wrong was the transfer of a large sum of money into the Nowak's bank account just before Brian's disappearance, and then the withdrawal of the same amount the next day. But now that his remains have been found, can the family find closure … and can the police determine what really happened 15 years ago?
The reopening of the cold case in Among the Departed extends to Molly's personal life as well. Not only was she possibly the last person to see Brian alive — she was waiting outside for her mother to pick her up after spending Saturday night on a sleepover at the Nowak's house when he left for his walk and was not seen again — but the officer in charge of the investigation at the time, Paul Keller, is now a senior ranking police officer … and is now courting Molly's mother, Lucky. The contrast between the two — Paul, an authority figure in the community, and Lucky, a radical from the 60s, who named her daughter Moonlight — offers a bit of levity as they pursue a romantic relationship. The other characters that play a role in the case, some on the admittedly eccentric side, add interest and help round out the story. This fast-reading and nicely plotted mystery is another solid entry in this entertaining series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Among the Departed.
Acknowledgment: Maryglenn McCombs Book Publicity provided an ARC of Among the Departed for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Winter of Secrets
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), November 2009
ISBN-13: 9781590586761; ISBN-10: 159058676X
Under Cold Stone
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), April 2014
ISBN-13: 9781464202339; ISBN-10: 1464202338
Location(s) referenced in Among the Departed: Trafalgar, British Columbia
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Among the Departed by Vicki Delany — A Molly Smith Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: May 2011
List Price: $24.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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