Among the Departed

( 5 )

Overview

 

Fifteen years ago a young girl by the name of Moonlight Smith went to her best friend Nicky Nowak’s house for a sleepover. Moonlight joined the family for breakfast the following morning and was then picked up by her mother. Shortly after, Mr. Nowak went for a walk.

 

He was never seen again.

 

Autumn has arrived on the mountains above Trafalgar, B.C., and the promise of winter is in the air. Constable Molly Smith is cuddled by...

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Overview

 

Fifteen years ago a young girl by the name of Moonlight Smith went to her best friend Nicky Nowak’s house for a sleepover. Moonlight joined the family for breakfast the following morning and was then picked up by her mother. Shortly after, Mr. Nowak went for a walk.

 

He was never seen again.

 

Autumn has arrived on the mountains above Trafalgar, B.C., and the promise of winter is in the air. Constable Molly Smith is cuddled by the fireplace with Adam Tocek of the RCMP when Tocek and his dog Norman are called to a wilderness camping ground to join the search for a little boy who snuck away from his family looking for bears.

 

The child is found, dirty, terrified, weeping, but unharmed. Then the inquisitive Norman digs up something else: human bones.

 

The ID isn’t positive, but it is enough to have Sergeant John Winters of the Trafalgar City Police pulling old boxes from the basement to re-open the Brian Nowak investigation. He finds a family shattered beyond recognition by the disappearance of their husband and father. Mrs. Nowak is an empty shell of a woman, dressed in pajamas, never leaving the house. Her son Kyle haunts the streets of Trafalgar at night and spends his days creating beautiful, but highly troubling, art. Nicky Nowak lives in Vancouver and has grown up to be gorgeous, charming, elegant. Yet behind that facade lies a woman whose heart has closed so tightly against human relationships she comes to Trafalgar trailing in her wake a terrifying threat to another innocent family. 

 

As the investigation into the life and disappearance of Brian Nowak grows, old secrets are brought to light and new ones struggle to remain hidden.

 

 

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The successful search for a missing boy in the woods near the British Columbian town of Trafalgar also uncovers a human bone that may belong to a man who disappeared years earlier. It's almost too much to handle as Constable Molly Smith (Negative Image; In the Shadow of the Glacier), one of the last people ever to see the missing man, tries to come to terms with her own father's death and deal with her relationship with Adam Tocek of the Royal Canadian Mountain Police. VERDICT By using western Canada as her setting, Delany gives us a breathtaking vista, in which she places her deceptively minimalist plots. Her exceptional ability to create characters, both realistic and sometimes creepy, makes this another terrific addition to her outstanding body of work.
Kirkus Reviews
A long-ago disappearance casts a long shadow.

For 15 years, the Nowaks of Trafalgar, British Columbia, have not dealt well with the fact that Brian walked out to buy a pack of cigarettes and didn't return. His wife Marjorie, a prissy, God-fearing woman, never leaves the house. His son Kyle, a reclusive artist, specializes in violently charged paintings. His daughter Nicky has moved to Vancouver and become an escort with a sideline in blackmailing her clientele. When some of Brian's bones are accidentally uncovered in Koola Provincial Park, Sergeant Winters reopens the case, leaning on Nicky's childhood friend Molly, now a constable, for insights, and setting up a possible conflict with his wife Eliza, who's mounting a gallery showing of Kyle's work. Did Brian leave his family for another woman and get waylaid on his way out of town? Not likely, say the villagers. But what happened to the $10,000 he withdrew just before his disappearance? What of Kyle's insistence that Brian was a womanizer (something that can't be proved), or of the realtor who keeps popping around asking for details about the case, or of the way Nicky and her sleazy partner/pimp Joey are eyeing as possible marks all the men in town, even Molly's boyfriend Adam of the RCMP? Secrets and assumptions must come crashing down to settle the Nowak case and explain the tragedy of 1996.

Delany (Negative Image,2010, etc.) invigorates the cozy genre with an unsparing look at love in all its variations, including coming to terms with it the second time around.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441786661
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Series: The Constable Molly Smith Series
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 7
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Having taken early retirement from her job as a systems analyst in the high-pressure financial world, Vicki Delaney is settling down into the rural life in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an engaging Canadian village whodunit

    In 1996 in Trafalgar, British Columbia, Brian Nowak vanished without a trace. No one knew what happened to Brian who seemed to have no enemies. He left behind an uncaring spouse, an unreliable son, and a precocious daughter who was the apple of his life; anyone who knew him knew he would never leave his darling Nicky behind especially with her mother.

    Fifteen years after Brian disappeared, the remains of a human are accidently found. The townsfolk assume the deceased is Brian. Nicky, who was an eighth grader when her dad vanished, was never the same as she has gotten into all sorts of trouble involving drugs and prostitution since. Her childhood best friend Constable Molly Smith leads the investigation into the murder of Brian hoping this brings closure to a disturbed Nicky.

    The fifth Constable Molly Smith police investigation is an engaging Canadian village whodunit. The key to this tale and its predecessors (see Valley of the Lost and Negative Image) is the strong support cast as Molly obtains the usual assistance whether she wants it or not from her boyfriend RCMP Sergeant, his dog, and her mom; and the lack of cooperation from the horde of locals including the victim's daughter who is no longer an innocent. Among the Departed is a terrific mystery with a great realistic finish.

    Harriet Klausner

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