Friday, December 3, 2010
NEGATIVE IMAGE by Vicki Delany
This is the fourth Constable Molly Smith/Sergeant John Winters novel, set in the fictitious town of Trafalgar. B.C. And, if you've followed along over the years, it's a story of growth and family and policing.
A high-profile photographer, in town with his wife and assistant for a photo shoot, is murdered in his hotel room. The case takes a wrenching twist when Sgt. Winter's wife, Eliza is implicated and Winters is torn between supporting her and his job. Being ordered to stay away from the case, he throws himself into investigating a series of B&E's, while his private life crumbles.
Molly Smith is also a juggling family emergency with the job. Her father ends up in hospital, awaiting surgery, and she is also trying to decide if she should move to a larger city for greater career opportunities, which might jeopardize her romance with Mountie Adam Tocek. On the job, she's assisting Winters with his inquiries while, at the same time, being stalked by a crazed ex-con.
As the two cases entertwine and both officers face major crises at home, justice is served and each must then sort out the pieces of their own lives.
As you read Negative Image for the finely crafted mystery, you can't help but be drawn into the lives of all the characters. Delany is a master at characterization, knowing what bits of information tell us the most about each, charting their growth along the pages of the novel, and ensuring we get involved with them, wanting to know what their futures hold.
In Molly Smith, she's created a vulnerable young police officer, desperate to be taken seriously by her male colleagues, anxious to become better at her job. And, she's totally believable.
John Winters is a good cop, conscientious and clever and he's also a devoted husband, unsure of how to handle revelations about his wife. He is sensitive to Molly's insecurities and probably the best role model she'll find.
Even the secondary characters are well-rounded, each adding a vital aspect to the policing landscape.
Negative Image should be on your shelf...or under the Christmas tree...or both!
Vicki Delany has also written three stand alone psychological suspense novels and is working on the third book in her Klondike Gold Rush series. She left behind her job as a systems analyst in the high-pressure financial world, to a life of writing about crime. She lives in beautiful Prince Edward County...and there's nothing criminal about that!