Two abducted girls—one who returns, one who doesn’t.
The night they go missing, high school seniors Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are at a beach party in their small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. Police launch a massive search, but hope is almost lost—until Megan escapes from a bunker deep in the woods. . . . A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has made Megan a celebrity. It’s a triumphant story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing.
Nicole’s older sister, Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found and her sister’s fate determined. Instead, the first clue comes from another body—that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan to learn more about that fateful night. Other girls have disappeared, and she’s increasingly sure the cases are connected.
Megan knows more than she revealed in her book. Flashes of memory are pointing to something more monstrous than she described. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for . . .
“A fast-moving page-turner. . . . Donlea skillfully maximizes suspense by juggling narrators and time all the way to the shocking final twists.”
“Well worth the read.”
“Donlea’s sophomore effort is solid. He keeps the reader guessing and second-guessing until the end, thanks to an expertly crafted abundance of potential suspects.”
In this fast-moving page-turner from Donlea (Summit Lake), fledgling forensic pathologist Livia Cutty is determined to find answers about the fate of her missing sister, Nicole, who vanished from a high school beach party in Emerson Bay, N.C., a year or so earlier, along with classmate Megan McDonald. Megan has become a media darling since her recent escape from the bunker where she was held. A body brought to Livia's Raleigh, N.C., morgue provides her first break. The badly decomposed corpse of a young man with puzzling injuries is identified as that of drifter Casey Delevan. When the news of the man's death goes public as part of a homicide investigation, Livia gets a call from a friend of Nicole's claiming a link between Casey and Nicole. Starting to investigate in earnest with the aid of emotionally fragile Megan, the sympathetic doctor stumbles across a disturbing secret side to her sister and into very real danger. Donlea skillfully maximizes suspense by juggling narrators and time all the way to the shocking albeit implausible final twists.