A distraught mother needs help to prove that her son was murdered in this exciting spinoff from the Mattie Winston series (Dead of Winter, 2019, etc.).
Sharon Cochran shows up at social worker Hildy Schneider’s bereavement group with a strange request that changes the group’s dynamic and Hildy’s life. Sharon’s son, Toby, has recently died after dropping out of college. The police have written his death off as an overdose. But Sharon speaks urgently and eloquently about why they can’t possibly be right. Hildy, who grew up in foster homes after her own mother was murdered, can readily identify with Sharon’s story. So she agrees to help, using her connections with the police and the coroner to get some answers. She even makes a copy of Toby’s fingerprints that’s good enough to open his computer and uses what she finds there to convince Detective Bob Richmond and coroner Mattie Winston to take another look at his death. Toby, who’d shown no sign of previous drug use, dumped his gorgeous girlfriend and sent his fraternity brothers emails warning them that he couldn’t go along with some secret plan they had. When Hildy persuades Bob to let her ride along with him, her insights prove to be very helpful. Neither the fraternity house mother nor the fraternity brothers offer much help, but Hildy realizes that the secret they’re hiding must be dangerous and most likely illegal. Her determination leads both to the answers she seeks and to an exciting new professional pathway that ends up including even her beloved dog.
A provocative page-turner.