Olivia’s father murdered her mother when Olivia was 3 and then vanished, throwing Olivia into a series of foster homes until she achieves early emancipation at age 17.
Living alone in Portland, Oregon, Olivia learns that some of her father’s remains have been found, leading police to believe that he was not the murderer but a victim as well. Olivia decides to return to her hometown and rent her own inherited house there, never telling the townspeople that she really is Ariel Benson, the child survivor of the murder. She meets Duncan, who recognizes her from a scar but agrees to keep her secret as he helps her gather evidence and possible suspects. The two comb through library records and casually interview townspeople who might remember Olivia’s family and the murder. Olivia’s elderly next-door neighbor becomes a special friend, giving Olivia a sense of family again. But of course, it’s a murder mystery with suspects, and despite speculation that the perpetrator might have been a serial killer with random victims, readers can be fairly sure that one of the townspeople will not only turn out to be the killer, but will try to kill Olivia too. Henry unfolds her drama while keeping equal focus on the mystery and on Olivia’s emotions as the girl returns to the hometown she does not remember and to friends and possible family that she craves.
A solid thriller. (Mystery. 12-18)