The past isn't over....
An unspeakable act has ripped apart the idyllic town of Bakersville, Oregon, and its once-peaceful residents are demanding quick justice. But though a boy has confessed to the horrific crime, evidence shows he may not be guilty.
Officer Rainie Conner, leading her first homicide investigation, stands at the center of the controversy. It's hitting too close to home, bringing back her worst nightmares, threatening to expose her secret sins. But with the boy's life at stake, she won't let anything stop her from finding the real killer.
With the help of FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, Rainie comes closer to a deadly truth than she can imagine. Because out there in the shadows a man watches her and plots his next move. He knows her secrets. He kills for sport. He's already brought death to Bakersville and forever shattered the community. But what he has really come for is Rainie -- and he won't leave until he has destroyed her....
In her new thriller (following The Other Daughter), Gardner deftly probes the psychology of school shootings while developing a cast of complex, compelling characters. Rainie Conner initially joined the small-town police force in Bakersville, Ore., to escape the ghosts of her past. When she responds to a call from the local school and discovers students screaming, bodies lying inert in the rooms and one young boy holding two guns, however, Rainie find herself leading a controversial investigation and struggling to contain her childhood memories. The fact that the boy is the son of the town sheriff, Rainie's superior and friend, only intensifies the pressure Rainie endures from members of the community, the FBI and the media. Although she tries desperately to do her work amid the growing criticism, Rainie begins to question her own fragile psychological stability. Fortunately, she finds solace in the arrival of the gentlemanly Pierce Quincy, an FBI profiler with a sharp mind and a soft shoulder. The duo eventually reach the conclusion that someone else must be responsible for the massacre, someone who may have recruited the boy to do the shootings. A suspenseful, curl-up winter read, this thriller teems with crisp, realistic dialogue and engaging characters.