Set more than one hundred years after the Borden murders, this propulsive, supernatural thriller imagines what might happen if history were to repeat itself today. Perfect for fans of Kara Thomas and Courtney Summers!
When Mariella Morse accuses her boyfriend, Vik Gomez, of murdering her wealthy parents with an axe, the town is quick to believe her. It doesn’t help that Vik is caught standing over her parents’ bodies with blood on his hands, unable to remember anything about the night in question.
But Vik’s sister, Tessa, knows that Vik would never be capable of such a gruesome crime. Haunted by the mistakes she made that led her family to move to Fall River, MA in the first place, she sets out to prove her brother’s innocence.
Tessa’s search for answers will lead her into a sprawling, notoriously cursed forest, where she and Mariella must face a darkness that has lurked within their town since before the days of Lizzie Borden—the original axe murderess of Fall River.
This bone-chilling speculative horror novel by Wallach, inspired by the 19th-century Lizzie Borden murders, drips with blood, gore, and engaging originality. Following an unexplained incident in her hometown, Puerto Rican high school junior Tessa Gomez, her 18-year-old half brother Vik, and their mother move to Fall River, Mass., famous for the Borden killings. Vik soon begins dating white-cued classmate Mariella, daughter of the town's richest residents, who endures constant emotional abuse from her father. When Vik is found at the site of Mariella's parents' deaths covered in their blood, everyone is certain he's the killer. But Tessa knows that Vik would never commit such an act and, aided by Mariella, vows to find the real culprit. The key to the mystery lies in the ominous local woods, where the girls must face monsters both human and demonic if they hope to survive the investigation. Present-day chapters—rendered in anticipatory-feeling prose and bursting with foreboding ambiance—follow Tessa as she seeks to absolve Vik of his crime, while alternating sections center Mariella at myriad points in time, including the night of the murders and the two months prior. Ages 12–up.