A medical examiner returns to her small-town home to investigate the death of her sister, a task as personally as professionally demanding.
Growing up in a small town with a close-knit group of friends, Gin Sullivan felt warmly supported even though her parents, Richard and Madeline, seemed more concerned with their professional lives than their children. Maybe that’s what led Gin and her sister, Lily, to treat their friends like family until the summer when everything changed. When Lily went missing, it seemed a forgone conclusion that she would never be seen again. Her disappearance pitted Gin against her high school sweetheart, Jake Crosby, the last person to see Lily alive. Almost two decades later, Gin recognizes Jake’s voice when he calls her out of the blue to tell her that a body has been found in the woods and that they think it’s Lily. Returning home to support her parents, Gin is surprised how little the town has changed even though she’s felt a million miles away. She wastes no time calling in favors and sweet-talking Jake’s father and local cop Lawrence to get her into Lily’s autopsy. She is, after all, an extremely qualified medical examiner, so the department should be grateful for her help. What she discovers during the exam changes everything she thought she knew about Lily and the group of friends she thought she could depend on. Now she must rely on Jake to help her learn the whole truth, not knowing if he’s the one who hid everything from her in the first place.
Though Carlisle’s series debut is a bit too pat to hit the mark, there’s room for her writing to grow even if the same can’t be said for her characters.