Fifteen years ago, a young girl by the name of Moonlight Smith went to the house of her best friend, Nicky Nowak, for a sleepover. Moonlight joined the family for breakfast the following morning and was then picked up by her mother. Shortly after, Mr. Nowak went for a walk.
He was never seen again.
Autumn has arrived on the mountains above Trafalgar, British Columbia, Canada, and the promise of winter is in the air. Constable Molly Smith is cuddled by the fireplace with Adam Tocek of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police when Tocek and his dog, Norman, are called to a wilderness camping ground to join the search for a little boy who sneaked away from his family looking for bears. The child is found, dirty, terrified, and weeping but unharmed. Then the inquisitive Norman digs up something else: human bones.
The ID isn’t positive, but it is enough to have Sergeant John Winters of the Trafalgar City Police pulling old boxes from the basement to reopen the Brian Nowak investigation. He finds a family shattered beyond recognition by Brian’s disappearance. Mrs. Nowak is an empty shell of a woman, dressed in pajamas, never leaving the house. Her son, Kyle, haunts the streets of Trafalgar at night and spends his days creating beautiful but highly troubling art. Nicky Nowak lives in Vancouver and has grown up to be gorgeous, charming, elegant. Yet behind that façade lies a woman whose heart has closed so tightly against human relationships that she comes to Trafalgar trailing in her wake a terrifying threat to another innocent family.
As the investigation into the life and disappearance of Brian Nowak grows, old secrets are brought to light and new ones struggle to remain hidden.
Among the Departed is more than a mystery novel: it is also a story of love — love new and old, long-concealed, life-affirming, and fatal.