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Scare the Light Away Hardcover – March 15, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; United States ed edition (March 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590581415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590581414
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,563,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Well-crafted storytelling and an evocative setting make for a rewarding debut from Canadian newcomer Delany. Prodigal daughter Rebecca McKenzie, a widow and thriving Vancouver executive, returns to Hope River, her suffocating Ontario hometown, for the first time in 30 years, to attend the funeral of her mother, the only family member from whom she's not estranged. While she stays tethered via the phone lines to her office, she struggles to resolve old grudges with her older siblings, further complicated by her brother's possible involvement with a young woman's disappearance. The extra time at home with her seemingly forlorn father reacquaints her with her family in the present; 60 years of her mother's diaries give her a chance to see that things in Hope River aren't how she remembers them and possibly were never really what she thought they were. The diary narrative, presented in alternating chapters, is especially poignant, chronicling the hard life of a young English war bride trapped in the isolation of Canada, where her new father-in-law is as cold and vicious as the winters. The only drawback is the secondary characters—cartoonish villains and too-good-to-be-true allies—who detract from Delany's otherwise skillful and layered depictions. (Mar. 28)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Delany delivers an outstanding debut novel that explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of family relationships. Granted, in the case of Rebecca McKenzie's family, it's mostly bad and ugly. A Vancouver business executive, Rebecca returns to her childhood home, the small Canadian town of Hope River, to attend her mother's funeral. Her 30-year absence has done nothing to ingratiate Rebecca with her bitter sister, Shirley, and even more problematic, their brother Jimmy is in trouble--again. A young girl is missing, and the townspeople's rage is focused on ne'er-do-well Jimmy, for whom the girl was working. At first highly skeptical, Rebecca begins to see that Jimmy really has changed and takes steps to protect him from vigilantes when the girl's body is discovered. Meanwhile, Rebecca begins reading her mother's World War II journals and inadvertently causes some oversize skeletons to come tumbling out of the closet. Delany mixes a compelling crime story with a vivid evocation of small-town hostility, revealing in the process that even dysfunctional families have bonds. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Vicki Delany began her writing career as a Sunday writer: a single mother of three high-spirited daughters with a full-time job as a computer programmer. Sunday afternoon was - and at that, only now and again - the only time she had to spend all by herself, with a single candle on her desk for a bit of atmosphere, a Bruce Springsteen tape in the tape deck, and a nice cup of tea at her elbow. When she felt like really letting loose, the tea might have turned into a glass of wine.

The years passed, as they tend to do, and the three daughters, somewhat hesitantly, flew the coop, leaving Vicki more time to devote to her writing. She was able to write three novels of suspense, set in Ontario, two of which, Scare the Light Away and Burden of Memory were published to critical acclaim by Poisoned Pen Press of Scottsdale, Arizona.

In 2007, Vicki took early retirement from her job as a systems analyst with a major bank and sold her house in Oakville, Ontario. At that time In the Shadow of the Glacier, the first book in a police procedural series set in the British Columbia Interior was published. After travelling around North America for a year with her dog, Shenzi, she bought a home in bucolic, rural Prince Edward County, Ontario, where she rarely wears a watch and can write whenever she feels like it.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Vicki was raised mostly in Ontario. As a young woman, fresh from quitting Carleton University in a huff in the middle of her final year, she travelled to South Africa where she promptly met a man, married him, and produced the aforesaid three daughters. Eleven years later, Vicki returned to Canada. Of her experiences in Africa she will only say that it gave her insight into to the politics of power and oppression that few Canadians get to experience.

Vicki majored in modern history at Carleton University, her interest more in the lives of ordinary women and men and the circumstances of their times than 'big men' and their wars. It was on a canoeing trip in Algonquin Park that Vicki, realizing that she was doing for fun what people in the past would have considered a hardship, told her trip mates stories about the incredible difficulties people endured in their attempts to get to the Klondike in search of gold, and the idea for a series of Klondike Gold Rush mysteries was set.

She writes in several different subgenres: Standalone novels of suspense (Scare the Light Away, Burden of Memory, MORE THAN SORROW from Poisoned Pen Press), traditionl village/police procedural (The Constable Molly Smith Series from PPP - latest, AMONG THE DEPARTED) and the lighthearted Klondike Gold Rush series (Gold Digger, Gold Fever, GOLD MOUNTAIN from Rendezvous Crime).

Vicki is a member of Crime Writers of Canada, and Capital Crime Writers, and is on the board of Wolfe Island's Scene of the Crime Mystery Festival.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Vancouver bank executive and widow Rebecca McKenzie swore she would never return to her home town of Hope River. However, the only person who could ever possibly get Rebecca to return, her beloved mom, died so she has come home for the funeral. Her father welcomes her as if she was never away; her older sister Shirley resents her; her older brother Jimmy wants her to forgive him for his behavior as a teen towards her when he emulated their sociopathic grandfather with Rebecca being an abused victim.

Her dad gives her diaries that her mom kept especially during World War II when she a Brit, married a Canadian soldier and relocated to Canada where she met "It" her terrorizing father-in-law. In town, she is accosted by two angry men who blame Jimmy as a former convict for the disappearance of a popular high school student, Jennifer Taylor. As Rebecca meets her nieces, nephews and other relatives for the first time and reads the diaries she begins to feel for her father and her siblings. As the trio reconciles Rebecca investigates what happened to Jennifer since she no longer believes the reformed Jimmy did anything.

SCARE THE NIGHT AWAY is a fabulous Canadian family drama with the suspense that comes in the latter half of the tale serving as the catalyst towards bringing an estrange family together. The story line is character driven mostly by Rebecca and how she relates with her father, her siblings, their spouses, children, and grandchildren. The diary serves as a solid subplot describing Rebecca's sociopath grandfather terrorizing her parents. Readers will enjoy the cell phone ending to a strong character study.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Willsgirl on May 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is about Rebecca, a recently widowed bankers return to her home town after the death of her beloved mother. Upon her return, Rebecca discovers through diaries her mother has left, what life had been for the family she can't seem to connect to. A sister she dislikes, a brother she fears and a father she resents. She soon discovers that there is more to the family than what she remembers. In the years since she left the small town and the disfunctional family life to go to the big city and make something of herself, a transformation has taken place and things are no longer what they were. In the mist of this discovery, the ongoing search for a missing young woman, for which her brother is the primary suspect, sends the family in a downward spiral back to past history. She must now make a choice...holding on to the past or moving forward. As things unfold, to her surprise, she is caught up in the effort to clear her brothers name and reconcile with the family she never knew.
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By Judy on June 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
It was difficult for me to put this book down to accomplish daily tasks that took me away from reading. I also couldn't skim read, something I sometimes do. I didn't want to miss a word. Vicki Delany writes with such color and imagery that I was spellbound by her words. Vicki also built "real" characters that came alive for me, even Sampson the dog. The story flowed unfolding an intersting plot full of emotions and tension. Furthermore, she didn't leave the reader flat, at the end of the story. Rather, she continued on with a rich afterstory that left me well satisfied.

Well done, Vicki. I'll try to match your rich imagery in my own writing, although I expect it will take me many years to accomplish what you were able to accomplish in your debute novel. I look forward to reading more of your works.
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