Sunday, May 01, 2011

Among the Departed by Vicki Delany

When RCMP officer Adam Tocek along with his girlfriend Constable Molly Smith of the Trafalgar police locate a boy who wandered from his campsite in the nearby provincial park, they happen across some human bones. The first person that pops into Molly's mind is the father of one of her childhood friends who went missing about 15 years earlier. Can the bones be identified? Was foul play involved? If so, who committed the deed and why? It will be up to Molly's colleagues to find out. I loved the characters of Adam and Molly and of most of the people in the town. They were quite fun and pleasant. This novel, however, did have a few problems. The one that nagged at me from early in the book is an error which showed poor research on the part of the author. They were discussing the find of the bones and how identification could be made through DNA. One of the characters made the statement that mitochondrial DNA could be collected for comparison. Then they went to the son of the person to whom they believed the bones belonged to attempt to collect a sample. Mitochondrial DNA is passed along by the mother instead of the father, so the son would not have been a match had he agreed to give a sample. Instead, they should have been collecting a sample from a sibling of the person. Fortunately, the son refused to give a sample, and they ended up making identification through dental records, so I didn't have to congratulate them upon finding their mother's brother. There were a few proofreading errors that would not have been caught by spell check that were present. I'm also pretty sure that the dish one of the characters enjoyed while dining was huevos rancheros instead of huveros rancheros as the book stated. In spite of the problems, the characters make this an enjoyable read. This review is based on an Advanced Readers Copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley. The book is scheduled for release May 11, 2011. 3 stars.

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