The clock ticks down in a heart-pounding crusade for justice
Susan Lentigo's daughter was murdered twenty years ago—and now, at long last, this small-town waitress sets out on a road trip all the way from Upstate New York to North Dakota to witness the killer's execution.
On her journey she discovers shocking new evidence that leads her to suspect the condemned man is innocent—and the real killer is still free. Even worse, her prime suspect has a young daughter who's at terrible risk. With no money and no time to spare, Susan sets out to uncover the truth before an innocent man gets executed and another little girl is killed.
But the FBI refuses to reopen the case. They—and Susan's own mother—believe she's just having an emotional breakdown. Reaching deep, Susan finds an inner strength she never knew she had. With the help of two unlikely allies—a cynical, defiant teenage girl and the retired cop who made the original arrest—Susan battles the FBI to put the real killer behind bars. Will she win justice for the condemned man—and her daughter—at last?
Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and Harlan Coben
Optioned for film—with Leonardo DiCaprio attached as producer
Glens Falls, N.Y., waitress Susan Lentigo, the heroine of this affecting thriller from Witten (the Jacob Burns series), is devastated when a sexual predator rapes and strangles her seven-year-old daughter, Amy. Under police interrogation, Curt Jansen, a drifter with a criminal record, confesses to the murder, but recants before his trial, where he's convicted and sentenced to death. Twenty years later, Jansen finally has a date for his lethal injection, and Susan, who has never recovered from her traumatic loss, sets out alone for North Dakota, where he's been incarcerated, to witness Jansen's execution. For a long time, she's been haunted by a feeling that had she been more alert she could have prevented Amy's murder. Also, her recent realization that Jansen couldn't have seen the necklace Amy was wearing, as he claimed in his confession, from where he was standing when he targeted the child leads her to wonder whether the right man is slated to be executed. She doggedly pursues that possibility, afraid that if the real killer is at large, another child may be at risk. Despite an overly melodramatic climax, Witten keeps the reader guessing and the tension high. Fans of amateur investigators with a personal stake in the outcome will be rewarded.