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by Vicki Delany

Pub Date: May 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59058-924-3
Publisher: Poisoned Pen

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.