When her mother is murdered, a woman is propelled into a twisted world of danger and double lives in this gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Somebody's Daughter and Cemetery Girl.
Leslie Hampton always cared for her troubled son Ronnie’s special needs and assumed that her daughter Elizabeth would take him in when the time came. When Leslie dies unexpectedly, Elizabeth is consumed by grief. Then police discover that Leslie was strangled, and they immediately suspect that one of Ronnie’s outbursts took a tragic turn. Elizabeth can’t believe that her brother is capable of murder, but who else could have had a motive to kill their quiet, retired mother?
More questions arise when a stranger is named in Leslie’s will: a woman also named Elizabeth. As the family’s secrets unravel, a man from Leslie’s past who claims to have all the answers shows up, but those answers might put Elizabeth and those she loves the most in mortal danger.
Despite working on a PhD in history, Elizabeth Hampton proves to be dangerously ignorant about her own as the Dover, Ohio, grad student discovers after her widowed 69-year-old mother's murder in this page-turner from Bell (The Hiding Place). Elizabeth barely has a chance to process the news before there's a second shock: police suspect her brother, Ronnie, who has Down syndrome. It doesn't add up to her, but neither does the subsequent break-in at her apartment, or the stranger she sees arguing with her uncle after the funeral, or those puzzling withdrawals from her mother's savings account. As Elizabeth hurtles toward truths about her family she might prefer not to know, Bell does a good job exposing the seaminess underlying seemingly placid smalltown life. He's less successful with some of his characters, who function primarily to facilitate the action. And the climactic revelations prove more sensational than satisfying.