A criminal lawyer returns home to investigate the disappearance of the wife of an old family friend—and soon discovers a web of secrets and betrayals darker than she could have imagined
Grace Dearden is a woman so beautiful and virtuous that no one would dare question her excellence or standing in the community. When Grace disappears—seemingly evaporating into the eerie Norfolk marshes—and police investigations fail to find her, her husband, Will, enlists the help of longtime friend and criminal lawyer Alexandra O’Neill—who will stop at nothing to uncover the secret of Grace Dearden’s disappearance.
A tale of politics and scandal, adultery and betrayal, this thriller—perfect for fans of Gone Girl—delights in unlocking a deep family secret that has plagued the Deardens for years.
All the inhabitants of the village of Deepwell describe the missing Grace Dearden as the perfect wife: elegant, generous and compassionate. Veteran mystery readers will immediately know that Grace must be exactly the opposite, just as they know that "missing" always means "murdered," but that won't take away from the pleasure of this well-crafted thriller set in the bleak salt marshes of Norfolk, England. Feisty London lawyer Alexandra O'Neill is called on by old friend Will Dearden to help deal with a police force he believes isn't working hard enough to solve his wife's disappearance. As a teenager Alex was in love with Will, though she now finds herself unhappily married to the drunken Paul, an unethical lawyer who eagerly defends the most vile criminals as long as they can pay his hefty fees. These circumstances combine to lure Alex back to Will and her childhood home. There she finds memories of early life and love and a boatload of suspects all with a good reason to whack Grace. Prolific British author Francis (Night Sky) is especially proficient at creating quirky character sketches that spring to life on the page: "She smoked in a grand manner, supported her elbow in the cup of one hand, sweeping the cigarette from her mouth to some point in space in a wide flamboyant arc accompanied be an elegant rotation of the wrist." Fans of the traditional whodunit will enjoy settling back and following the indomitable Alex as she brings to light the revelations and dark secrets submerged by the waters of the menacing marsh.