The author who took readers into the strange and fascinating world of Salt Lake City escort services now returns to New York, where a single woman becomes inexplicably drawn to a college student accused of murder. Grace drinks alone in the same bar every night, confides in her longtime bartender, and observes New York City life from the sidelines. A copy editor in her mid-thirties, she is estranged from her family and, in many ways, from herself. But when a local coed is found dead, and a college student from Grace’s hometown is arrested for the murder, something within her stirs. Though the media has portrayed the boy as a spoiled rich kid who killed as revenge for a rebuffed sexual advance, Grace senses deeper layers to the story. Consumed by discovering the truth behind the case, Grace strikes up an unlikely friendship with the accused murderer, Charles. Barely sleeping and slipping further behind at work, she inadvertently dredges up dark parts of her own childhood, including the death of her younger sister twenty-five years earlier. And when Grace returns to her childhood home in Ohio, intending to chase the mystery surrounding Charles, she finds that the mystery she is chasing is actually her own.
Two lost souls establish a tenuous bond in Meadows's intriguing tale of an aimless copy editor and a hapless murder suspect. When a female student at Emeryville, a small Long Island, N.Y., college, goes missing, a would-be suitor and fellow student, Charles Raggatt, is arrested and confesses to her murder. The sensational crime strikes a chord with Grace, a copy editor at a weekly Long Island news magazine, who becomes obsessed with the case, especially after she discovers that Charles, like she, is originally from a Cleveland suburb. Though Grace is convinced that there's more to the story than the public is being told, alternating points of view leave the reader in little doubt about Charles's guilt. Meadows (Calling Out) artfully sketches the growing relationship between the pair that starts with letters, then phone calls and a visit. There's a moving irony in this forging of a potentially redemptive friendship in the aftermath of a brutal murder.