"A compelling page-turner one won't want to put down.”—New York Journal of Books
Two women. Two families. Two lifetimes' worth of secrets.
In the wake of her husband’s sudden death, Cassie Costas finds her relationship with her teenage stepdaughter unraveling. After their move to historic Tarpon Springs, Florida, Savannah hates her new town, her school and most of all her stepmom, whom she blames for her father’s death. Cassie has enough to contend with as she searches for answers about the man she shared a life with, including why all their savings have disappeared.
When Savannah’s rebellion culminates in an act that leaves single mother Amber Blair and her sixteen-year-old son homeless, Cassie empathizes with the woman’s predicament and invites the strangers to move in. As their lives intertwine, Cassie realizes that Amber is hiding something. She’s evasive about her past, but the fear in her eyes tells a darker story. Cassie wonders what the woman living under her roof is running from…and what will happen if it finally catches up to her.
In this serpentine thriller from Richards (the Ministry Is Murder series), Cassie Costas moves from Manhattan to Tarpon Springs, Fla., her hometown, with her 15-year-old stepdaughter, Savannah Westmore, after her husband's death. Savannah detests the place and manifests her unhappiness by making friends with the wrong crowd. When the girl finds a handmade purse containing $800 in a parking lot, she lets her friends persuade her that the money should be spent on a party to be held at her house while Cassie is out of town. On returning to her now trashed home, Cassie discovers the distinctive purse among the rubble and determines its true owner: Amber Blair, the single mother of a 16-year-old son. As a result of losing the money, the pair have been evicted from their humble apartment. Deciding to right Savannah's wrong, Cassie invites them to live with her until Amber can get on her feet. Both women are hiding dangerous secrets that will alter their lives. The carefully constructed entwining of Cassie and Amber's stories offers some genuine surprises. This is pure soap opera of the best sort.