The twisty locked-room mystery from two-time Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning author Carol Goodman, about a group of former classmates trapped on their college campus—with a murderer among them.
"One of the best and smartest locked-room mysteries I've read in a long time. A page-turner with both heart and brains. Don't miss it!"—David Bell, New York Times bestselling author of Try Not to Breathe and She’s Gone
One by one, their pasts will reveal the deadly truth...
It’s been twenty-five years since the shocking disappearance of a female student and the distinguished Creative Writing professor who died while searching for her. The Briarwood College community has never forgotten the double tragedy. Now, the college President is bringing together faculty, donors, and alumni to honor the victims from all those years ago.
On a cold December weekend after the fall semester has ended, guests gather on the vacant campus for the commemoratory event. But as a storm descends, people begin to depart, leaving a group of alumni who were the last ones taught by the esteemed professor. Recriminations and old rivalries flare as they recall the writing projects they shared as classmates, including chilling horror stories they each wrote about their greatest fears.
When an alumna dies in a shockingly similar way to the story she wrote, and then another succumbs to a similar fate, they realize someone has decided at long last to avenge the crimes of the past. Will the secret of what they did twenty-five years ago be revealed? Will any of them be alive at the end of the weekend to find out?
Goodman's superior locked-room mystery (after The Disinvited Guest) sees college dean Nell Portman facing down a gruesome episode form her past. Nell works at upstate New York's Briarwood College, where she herself graduated 25 years earlier. During an annual tradition in which students carry candles up a nearby mountain in recognition of the impending winter solstice, one of her students falls into a cave and finds human remains. The discovery revives the local legend of the "ice cave girl," who's rumored to resurface every 25 years to cannibalize a new victim—and also the mystery of one of Nell's own classmates, who disappeared while they were in school together. Nell decides to organize a memorial for that former classmate, and a winter storm traps her and her fellow alumni on Briarwood's campus. Then someone dies, and it's time to suss out a murderer in their midst, reckoning with the sins of the past in the process. Goodman is superb at doling out reveals gradually, and toggling between past and present to build ample tension. Admirers of Riley Sager's The Last Time I Lied will be enthralled.