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"A deeply satisfying suspense tale." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The stories of two women separated by miles and years intertwine in Thomas’ riveting blend of family drama and thriller.

Single-mother and journalist Leslie Graham has shaken off a disturbing past event and now leads a full life in California with her two teenage daughters, Rhonda and Jillian. Leslie is shortlisted to become the first Black news editor at the local paper in the charmingly named town of Dancing Hills. Suddenly, her world is thrown into turmoil when her daughters are involved in a car crash that is no accident:  An SUV intentionally hits their vehicle, but why? In contrast to Leslie’s success and family life, 10 years earlier, New Yorker Barbara Morris, unhappily married to her husband Edward and aware he is planning to divorce her, develops a plan to keep their young daughter, Nancy, should the marriage dissolve: Barbara intends to hide their daughter and insinuate Edward is to blame for her disappearance. It is a dark plan, concocted by a woman with significant psychological issues; Barbara fears she may suffer from schizoaffective disorder, likely inherited from a mother confined to a mental institution for killing her boyfriend (“The noise in my head, the voices. I couldn’t ignore them. The voices, those damn voices!”). Secrets abound throughout the book, and none of the women, young or old, is who she seems to be. Mother/daughter issues—good, bad, and very, very bad—knit together a narrative that brims with surprises. Characters who initially seem sympathetic turn otherwise, and vice versa. Leslie’s and Barbara’s stories are told in alternating chapters, with the two narratives converging in an explosive finale. Throughout, attention to small details helps make the characters feel more real, such as Leslie’s love of crocheting, Rhonda’s smile that reveals retainers, or Barbara’s approval of styling her dreadlocks in a French twist.

A deeply satisfying suspense tale.


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