Author: Vicki Delany
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN: 978-1-59058-889-5

Click Here To Purchase Among the Departed: A Constable Molly Smith Mystery

Set in and around the picturesque village of Trafalgar in British Columbia, ‘Among the Departed’ is fifth in author Delany’s acclaimed series starring  intrepid cop Moonlight (‘Molly’) Smith. And much like its worthy predecessors, this one also has you at hello.

A lost child brings Constable Molly Smith into the woods with her boyfriend and his gifted sniffer dog, Norman, where they manage to find not just the frightened little boy but also  - bones! The human remains are soon identified as those of Brian Nowak, a local who had allegedly stepped out for a walk one morning fifteen years ago, never to be seen again. The discovery is especially significant to Molly, as she might have been one of the last people to have seen Nowak alive, as a teenaged friend of his daughter’s.

The investigation threatens to open old wounds. Nowak’s family, devastated by his loss, has
come apart in his absence – his wife  is a recluse, his son Kyle, a talented but troubled artist. But the effect on his daughter Nicole is the most unfortunate, taking her from being  a quiet and cheerful teenager to  a prostitute, drug addict and conwoman. In the tense days leading upto the funeral of Brian Nowak, Molly must come to terms with her feelings for her old friend, dredge up vital memories that will help her close the case, and  resolve her own doubts about the romantic relationship she is in.

Matters are complicated by Molly’s mother, whose relationship with a married policeman has caused the gossip grapevine to blossom. A runaway teenager focuses attention on the very real danger of online predators. And, as if all that were not enough, Molly’s faith in her boyfriend is shaken after she sees Nicole flirting with him. 

‘Among the Departed’ keeps up a crackling pace, and weaves all  its parallel narratives into a neat and satisfying finish. Delany’s skill is her crafting of characters, and ‘Among..’ boasts some nuanced character portraits. Molly is an interesting study; despite her record and her love for her job, she doesn’t really believe she is a cop.”.. She’d been a police officer for three years, but she still felt like an imposter. A little girl playing cop; someday the grown-ups would tell her she couldn’t play anymore.” She is still troubled by the memories of the man she has killed in an earlier case, and you get a sense that being a cop is, for her, a constant battle with her own fears.

Also worth mentioning is the character of Lucky, Molly’s unconventional mother – a freewheeling ex-hippy, for whom ‘The Lord of the Rings’  is practically a holy text, and who is now a mature, but not quite mellow, grandmother actively supporting the legalization of marijuana.

Click Here To Purchase Among the Departed: A Constable Molly Smith Mystery