by Stephanie Black
After five patient years, Abigail Wyatt's sisterly care is finally paying off: her younger brother, Derek, is abandoning his self-destructive lifestyle and seeking his parents' forgiveness, thus ending the painful estrangement that wounded the whole family. But just as the pieces are falling into place for the prodigal's return, a woman named Karen Brodie is murdered in a local park, and police name Derek as the prime suspect. Rather than standing firm and cemeting the positive changes in his life, Derek succumbs to his cynical fears and runs from the law, leaving Abigail with her hands tied. Literally. Derek's raw panic convinces everyone that he's the killer, everyone except Abigail, who doggedly maintains her brother's innocence. With the help of Kyle, a charismatic new friend she might be falling for, Abigail digs deep into Karen Brodie's troubled past in hopes of clearing Derek's name. But as she uncovers a sinister plot of greed, envy, and vengeance, this loyal sister must face the painful truth that things, and people, are not always as they seem.
I kept putting off reading this book because the only time I had to read it was at night, when it was dark, and I was in bed, and the house was quiet and I could hear all the creaking and groaning and noises that go bump in the night of the house. I don't like reading Stephanie's books at night, in the dark, when I am in bed and the house is quiet and I can hear all the creaking and groaning and noises that go bump in the night because Stephanie is a master at creepy and scary stories. And I can't even think about turning my back to the window because who knows what is going to come crashing through there and right when I am at the scariest part of the book. I just know it.
So, because I was waiting to be finished with text books and papers to read this book, I just finished it. And it does not disappoint. I "knew" who the bad guy was during the first chapter. Then I read chapters 2,3,4,5... and kept revising my opinion. I don't remember the last time it took me this long to figure out the who of the who done it. Really. I did suspect this person early on, but then changed my mind and just thought I didn't like him, but then I changed my mind again. And again. And then yet again. By the time I was positive, but before the reveal scene, I didn't trust anyone in the book and wanted to scream at Abigail to hole up in her parent's house and stop talking to anyone.
If you like scary suspense novels, you will love this book. It is written by an LDS author, and some of the characters are LDS and this fact is mentioned, but religion does not play a bigger role than that in the book. She could have made the characters any other religion at all and it would not change the story. Stephanie offered the book to readers in exchange for a review, but she had so many takers that she had to draw names to see who got a book. I didn't get one and had to borrow this copy from Karlene, but I will be headed to the store to get my own copy to complete my collection of Stephanie Black novels. I am already anxiously awaiting her next novel- to be read in the daytime, in a room with no windows or sharp objects.
And Stephanie, if you read this, I want to review your next book- m'kay?
Paperback: 304 pagesPublisher: Covenant Communications Inc.; 1st edition (August 2, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches