From the acclaimed author of The Perfect Summer and other New York Times bestsellers comes the gripping story of a man fighting for his family, a woman searching for her sister—and the promise of a new life where both least expect it.
Beneath his controlled demeanor, attorney John O’Rourke is a man in turmoil. Since the death of his wife, he has been juggling the rigors of a controversial capital murder case and the demands of raising two children. As eleven-year-old Maggie and fourteen-year-old Teddy long for the past, they must also contend with the hostility that swirls around them since their father took on the defense of a despised killer—including a brick through their window one autumn morning.
But a quieter event also takes place that day. A woman arrives on the O’Rourke doorstep to find a house in chaos but brimming with love—and, she hopes, answers. Six months ago Kate Harris’s younger sister fled from home following a devastating confrontation. After mailing a single postcard from the New England shore, Willa Harris vanished. With only a postmark to go on, Kate comes to the seaside—and discovers the one man who may be able to help her. . . .
When Kate Harris shows up at his door right after someone throws a brick through his window, defense lawyer and single father John O'Rourke can't decide whether she brings help or more trouble. In fact, she brings both in Rice's latest family drama (after True Blue; Summer Light; etc.) set on the Connecticut shore. John's client Greg Merrill, "The Breakwater Killer," on death row for a series of brutal seaside murders, is responsible for both Kate's arrival and the brick: John's neighbors resent his efforts to save the confessed criminal's life, while Kate wants the lawyer's help in determining whether Merrill killed her sister, who disappeared much like the killer's other victims, but whose body has never been found. In her quest, Kate falls not just for John but also for his children, Maggie and Teddy, as they grieve for their mother, recently killed in a car accident. John grieves, too, so bothered by memories of his wife's adultery he does not see what his children see that Kate is just what the O'Rourke family needs. Familiar Rice themes of sisterhood, loss and the healing power of love are spotlighted, but Rice's interest in the human psyche has its dark side as well, demonstrated by her creation of a rogue psychologist who subverts the ethics of his profession. Since Rice's fiction often serves as beach reading, it is appropriate that the shore scenes, including a cinematic climax in an old lighthouse, should be among the novel's strongest. Rice's heartfelt personal tone and the novel's cunningly deranged villain make this a smooth-flowing and fast-paced effort, with justice served all around at the satisfying if predictable conclusion.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Hard to put down
I enjoyed reading this book. The characters are well drawn & the plot moves along nicely. It’s set in New England along the Connecticut coast. A lot of family drama & even some mystery & who done it mixed in. Well plotted, well written.