A woman who uses her research skills to track down missing people finds herself over her head in a dangerous case.
Hester Thursby has taken a leave from her library job at Harvard to help her boyfriend, Morgan, care for Kate, the little daughter of Daphne, his twin sister and Hester’s best friend. When she gets a call from Lila Blaine of New Hampshire, who wants her to find Sam, the brother who’s been missing for 12 years, she’s attracted by the promise of mental stimulation and extra money. Lila gives Hester a stack of postcards from all over the United States, each composed of photos her brother presumably took himself and a single sentence. Sam ran away with Gabe DiPursio, a 14-year-old foster child who was staying with Lila and him at the time. Lila admits the reason she wants to find Sam is because she’s selling a valuable piece of lake property. After talking to Gabe’s former foster mother and the social worker he had at the time, Hester, using the most recent postcards as clues, discovers that Sam and Gabe are living in Boston, where Sam’s posing as Aaron Gewirtzman, a young college graduate who was killed in an accident. She doesn’t know that the pair have left a trail of disaster in their wake: Sam has used his charm and good looks to hook up with wealthy women while Gabe uses his computer skills to raise money to tide them over between marks. Sam’s currently preoccupied by the wealthy socialite he’s dating, but Gabe, who meets Hester when she scopes them out by pretending to be looking for an apartment to rent, becomes totally fixated on her. Real danger threatens Hester when she learns too much about their past and present.
Hill’s debut is a chilling psychological thriller with an unusual heroine and a page-turning storyline.