Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Among the Departed by Vicki Delany
When I want to read a good traditional police procedural, with characters whose lives change in the course of the series, I'm very content to pick up one of Vicki Delany's Constable Molly Smith books. The Trafalgar, British Columbia setting is perfect, providing a small town atmosphere while the police have to deal with crimes that affect the citizens and the tourists who visit. Among the Departed, Delany's latest, is another satisfying story that incorporates one of my favorite elements in a mystery, the cold case.
Molly is with her boyfriend, Constable Adam Tocek of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, when his dog, Norman, is called out on a case. Adam is the dog handler for that area of British Columbia, so when a five-year-old boy goes missing from a campground, Adam takes Molly with him to search for the child. They find the child, but when Molly trips trying to pick him up, Norman uncovers bones that appear to be human.
The age of the bones lead Sergeant John Winters to suspect they may be the bones of a man who went missing when Molly was in eighth grade. She may have been the last person, outside of his family, to see Brian Nowak before he disappeared, since she spent the night before with her friend, Nicky Nowak. Brian Nowak's disappearance changed his family. Neither of his children had the life they expected to lead. In the course of the new investigation, family and town stories are going to be re-examined. Lives that were tragically changed years earlier can now impact innocent lives in Trafalgar.
It was a pleasure to return to Delany's Trafalgar in this mystery, catching up with Molly Smith, her friends and family, and John Winters and his wife. The lives of these characters are important to the stories and the plots. I'd recommend that any reader start with the first in the series, In the Shadow of the Glacier.
Delany does a wonderful job showing how people can be affected by the past, linking one man to so many others. Although I love to read cold cases, one statement made in this book hit me. "Open up old wounds, potentially cause a great deal of pain. Cold cases could be very nasty things." Among the Departed shows just how nasty those cases can get.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.