Gwen Proctor, along with her significant other Sam Cade and their two children, have recently moved into a sleepy small town in Tennessee, in attempts to gain some peace from the past. Gwen, formerly known as Gina Royal is a private investigator with a troubled past – her ex-husband Melvin Royal was discovered to be a prolific serial killer, before Gwen shot him dead, and Gwen faced significant scrutiny regarding her potential involvement in his killings. While absolved of all guilt in the legal system, there are those that believe she is culpable, and continually harass her family.
Kezia Claremont, a good friend of Gwen, and a detective with the Norton, Tennessee PD, catches an early AM homicide – two small children are found drowned inside of a vehicle found in a lake. As Kezia has recently learned she’s expecting her first child, the case hits her hard, so she reaches out to Gwen for support.
As both women investigate the murders, the search turns to the missing mother, Sheryl Lansdowne. With Gwen helping in the background, as the TBI takes over the case, she and Kezia soon discover that Sheryl has had many aliases – each time leaving death in her wake. But who is she really, and where is she now?
Meanwhile the torment begins to ramp up again for Gwen and her family – from messages on doors and vandals, to vindictive flyers being posted, and threats being made against them as things escalate. All too soon, it appears that Gwen has attracted a killer, determined to make her pay for the perceived sins of her past.
As both situations continue to escalate, Gwen and Kezia find themselves united in the search for a killer, who lures them to his lair, determined to stop them both.
Told from the perspectives of Gwen, Kezia & Sam, this was an edge-of-your-seat read for me, and one that I greatly enjoyed. I was unaware that it was part of a series, which I will definitely catch up with in the days to come.
I also want to send good wishes, love and light to the author, Rachel Caine, who confides a cancer diagnosis, and its uncertainty, with her readers in an ‘Author’s Note’, bringing even more meaning to the title of this novel. Yes, 2020 has been a strange journey, indeed…I know I speak for all your readers when I say you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.
I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.