The deadly secrets of a long-ago summer lead to a reunion with a ruthless killer in the #1 New York Times bestselling author’s detective thriller.
It starts as a prank—a way for teenage counselors to blow off steam after a long summer at Camp Horseshoe on the Oregon coast. Jo-Beth Chancellor wants to give Monica O’Neal a little scare. Monica has it coming, and no one will get hurt—so what could go wrong? Everything.
Twenty years later, Lucas Dalton, a senior detective with the sheriff’s department, is investigating human remains discovered in a cavern on the former campgrounds. Lucas knows the spot well. His preacher father ran the camp, and Lucas worked there that infamous summer when two girls went missing. No one knows what happened, though with a dangerous convict on the loose, gossip was rife that they were kidnapped, or worse.
Now seven former female counselors are coming back to the small Oregon town—among them, Bernadette Alsace, the woman Lucas never forgot. Each one knows something about that terrible night. Each promised not to tell. And as they reunite, a new horror unfolds. First comes the simple, terrifying text message: YOU WILL PAY. Then, the murders begin.
At the start of this overly long thriller from bestseller Jackson (After She's Gone), four people two female counselors, a part-time worker, and an escaped convict who ventured into the area disappear from Camp Horseshoe, a religious camp in Averill, Ore., while one male counselor, Tyler Quade, is found alive with a knife lodged in his back. Twenty years later, a jawbone surfaces on the camp's beach. It belongs to one of the victims, counselor Elle Brady, and the seven surviving female counselors, Lucas Dalton (the son of Horseshoe's owner and a detective with the local police), and Tyler are called in to testify about their recollections of the events. Lucas, who broke up with Elle on the night she disappeared, has felt guilty ever since. A camper from that time, now a reporter, dredges up the story and gets in contact with the involved parties. The tension rises when all of the women get a text picturing Elle in a coffin accompanied by the message "you will pay." Too many twists and turns add nothing to the narrative, which eventually builds to a surprising, if contrived, ending.