Among the Departed
Poisoned Pen, May 3 2011, $24.95
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.