An encroaching story, all intimations and emanations, taking place during the time that Christina Boyd is alone with her three children (her husband is in Europe) when she picks up a girl on the beach who moves in and out of her life within a few days. But there's an aftermath -- the police search her house and find what they're looking for -- drugs -- while certain things are missing and others turn up -- a dead rat, a dead gift, another. . . . Surely you'll read it -- how can you not -- in one startled breath.