A battered wife seeks shelter in Kansas only to be stalked by two men, one of them a deranged killer.
Cary Black is an enabler who’s allowed her policeman husband Mitch to go through countless cycles alternating between severe beatings and protestations of undying love. Finally, her attorney friend Arlette convinces her to flee and finds shelter for her in small-town Kansas. Cary arrives in Hampstead to find Kelby Oliver missing. Petrified that Mitch will find her, Cary is also going blind, a grim fate for a woman whose only solace has been reading. Desperate, she moves into Kelby’s house and slowly takes over her identity, even getting a job caring for a stroke victim. She doesn’t know that Kelby, the only holdout on a jury seeking the death penalty for a brutal rape-murder, has gotten death threats and gone into hiding. When Kelby’s sister, unable to reach her, calls the local police, Chief Susan Wren (Up in Smoke, 2003, etc.) can’t do much about an adult who refuses to call her relatives. But accident-prone rookie Ida Rather develops an interest in the reclusive Kelby/Cary that can’t lead anywhere good. In time, Cary finds Kelby’s body, answering one question but raising another: Will Kelby’s murderer find Cary before Mitch does?
Chief Wren takes a back seat in this tense, believable tale of compulsion and mania.