It’s New Year’s Eve 1999 and the local Blockbuster Video shop in Linden, NJ is getting ready to close. Stevie, the young manager is trying to control his teenage employees, to no avail. As he walks into the breakroom, to summon them back to work, he’s stunned to see one of the girls on the floor – then he’s grabbed from behind and has his throat slit. Only one of the four teens working that fateful night will survive their injuries.
It’s now 2015 and Ella, a psychotherapist with problems of her own, receives a phone call from her old high school teacher, Mr. Steadman, asking her to come to the local hospital. There’s been another murder, this time an ice cream shop, its details eerily similar to the attack long ago, with another young girl inexplicably left alive. As Ella survived the attack all those years ago, Mr. Steadman is hopeful that she can connect with this newest victim, Jesse, over their shared trauma, because Jesse will not let anyone near her.
FBI Agent Sarah Keller, very pregnant with twins, is sent in to assist Linden PD with this newest murder case. As Sarah arrives in Linden, her police liaison is a young, studious Detective named Atticus Singh. They have been tasked with reviewing the old Blockbuster case and the presumed perpetrator, Vincent Whittaker, who fled the area and has never been found.
Chris Ford, a young public defender with his own ghosts from the past, is just leaving a jailhouse visit with a client when he sees a headline scroll across his smartphone’s newsfeed about the murder. As he reads the unfolding story, his mind drifts back to the events around that fateful night in 1999, and the disappearance of his older brother – a brother he hopes to someday find.
Each of these characters – with seemingly separate backgrounds – take turns in telling their portions of the story, and will find their lives exquisitely intertwined as the story unfolds, as Ella tries to help a young woman through her trauma & Chris continues his search for the brother he lost so many years ago. Meanwhile Sarah & Atticus are painstakingly investigating past and present murders, linked by one common denominator – did the killer really leave town after the murders or has he been hiding in plain sight all this time?
I could NOT put this book down!! From the first page, I was completely hooked and am still reeling from the ending! I loved these characters – their flaws, their tragedies, their resilience made for one hell of a story – and while I’d hoped for different outcomes for a character or two, the storylines we’re all expertly brought together in one hell of a story! You most definitely need to take this one for a ride!
I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an objective review. Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!
Available March 1st, 2022