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VALLEY OF THE LOST by Vicki Delany


by Vicki Delany

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59058-595-5
Publisher: Poisoned Pen

Cui bono?

Leaving the Woman’s Support Center in Trafalgar, British Columbia, Lucy “Lucky” Smith finds a three-month-old baby whimpering in the woods near the body of his dead mommy, a young woman with needle tracks up her arm and a hypodermic by her side. Once Lucky’s daughter Molly, a probationary constable, and her supervisor John Winters arrive to take charge, what appeared to be a drug overdose turns out to be murder. Who was the young woman and who wanted her dead? These questions barely interest Lucky, who takes the baby home to cuddle, earning the enmity of Jody Burke, a child services worker determined to place him in foster care. The police discover the mommy’s first name, Ashley, but little else except her opposition to the glitzy Grizzly Resort being planned by M&C Developments. Further digging unearths a connection between Ashley and a predatory former Vancouver social worker now returned to his home base of Trafalgar. While the baby’s yowling keeps the Smith family sleepless, Winters’s professional and personal lives collide when his wife agrees to model for the resort brochures. Reluctantly offering to babysit at just the wrong time, Molly finds herself and the baby kidnapped and trussed to a four-poster while her attackers await a seaplane to fly them away in a melodramatic nosedive.

Ingratiating until three-quarters of the way through, when everything falls apart with some exceptionally silly plotting. That’s unfortunate, because Delany (In the Shadow of the Glacier, 2007, etc.) has created two interesting protagonists in Molly and Winters.