The "endearing and brilliant" (Publishers Weekly) Gregor Demarkian returns with a case of an unresolved crime and a new, brutal murder, in Jane Haddam's Hearts of Sand
Alwych, Connecticut, is the stereotypical old money Connecticut beach town—the best families live in mini-mansions on Beach Drive, their children go to Alwych Country Day School, and the parents have memberships to the Atlantic Club. And Chapin Waring is the worst thing that ever happened to this town. She was a well turned-out debutante from one of the richest families in Alwych until thirty years ago when the young debutante, destined to attend the right school, marry the right man, and have the right life, was revealed to a bank robber and a murderer. She disappeared, never to be heard from again.
But Alwych has never forgotten her, or let her friends and family forget. So when, after a day of being spotted around town, Chapin turns up dead—stabbed to death in her family's old home—it's baffling. To learn why she died—and to end the rampant speculation and media coverage—Gregor Demarkian, retired profiler for the FBI, is brought in to finally solve the mysteries surrounding Chapin Waring. Not just how and why she died where she did, but where she'd been and what happened that night thirty years ago that set everything in motion.
As the sophisticated plot of the 28th entry (after 2012's Blood in the Water) in this superior fair-play whodunit series shows, Haddam is still going strong. As a teen, debutante Chapin Waring veered into a life of crime, pulling off violent bank robberies that left corpses in their wake. But before she could be caught, she vanished, only to resurface 30 years later in her affluent hometown of Alwych, Conn. She's soon discovered with a knife in her back on the floor of the uninhabited house she grew up in, which her family has scrupulously maintained. Waring's murder, no less a sensation than her teenage crime wave, leads the hapless local police to send for brilliant detective Gregor Demarkian, who insists that it would be premature to link the present-day killing with the bank heists three decades ago. Demarkian methodically reads, talks, and thinks his way to a logical solution that few will anticipate.