From a remarkable new voice in suspenseful women's fiction comes an emotionally searing drama about a woman who risks her life to discover the devastating truth about her family…
Humanitarian aid worker Gia Andrews chases disasters around the globe for a living. It's the perfect lifestyle to keep her far away from her own personal ground zero. Sixteen years ago, Gia's father was imprisoned for brutally killing her stepmother. Now he's come home to die of cancer, and she's responsible for his care – and coming to terms with his guilt.
Gia reluctantly resumes the role of daughter to the town's most infamous murderer, a part complete with protesters on the lawn and death threats that are turning tragedy into front-page news. Returning to life in small-town Tennessee involves rebuilding relationships that distance and turmoil have strained, though finding an emotional anchor in the attractive hometown bartender is certainly helping Gia cope.
As the past unravels before her, Gia will find herself torn between the stories that her family, their friends and neighbors, and even her long-departed stepmother have believed to be real all these years. But in the end, the truth – and all the lies that came before – may have deadlier consequences than she could have ever anticipated.
About the author
Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of five novels of suspense. Her third, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and has been translated into a dozen languages. Before turning to fiction, Kimberly worked in marketing and nonprofit fundraising.
Belle's multi-layered page-turner explores justice, forgiveness, and guilt through the eyes of a convicted murderer's daughter. Sixteen years ago, Ray Andrews was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of his wife, Ella Mae. Near the end of a battle with terminal cancer, Ray is granted compassionate leave to live out his last days under house arrest, sending the entire town of Rogersville, Tenn., into an uproar. Ray's youngest daughter, Gia, who has never been fully convinced of his guilt, has left her globe-trotting job as a disaster relief specialist and returned to care for him. Coming back to small-town Appalachia to care for a dying parent would be hard enough without protestors on the front lawn and a chilly reception from an older brother and sister who want nothing to do with the whole situation. As she starts to dig into her family's past, Gia uncovers a wealth of new facts about the night of Ella Mae's murder that further complicates her feelings on the incident. With a keen sense of setting and a cast of well-drawn characters, Belle delivers a fresh premise with a few novel twists. Flashbacks to Ella Mae's last days add an additional level of complexity. Unfortunately, some twists are more believable and organic than others, and the final scenes take a slightly hackneyed action-movie turn that feels at odds with the rest of the story. Nevertheless, Belle's debut is thoroughly satisfying.