In this moody thriller set on an isolated Wisconsin peninsula, the tourists are gone, a serial killer’s at large, and incendiary passions ignite in winter’s deepening bitter cold.
Smart, responsible Maggie is every parent’s dream. She hasn’t complained about leaving her Chicago life and friends behind for the shabby house in Door County, where she knows no one; aware that her parents are doing their best in difficult times, she wants to spare them knowledge of her unhappiness. Her new friend—beautiful, impulsive Pauline from the mansion next door, who takes abundance for granted—draws Maggie into her world, which includes Liam, who’s been in love with Pauline for years. Though Pauline insists she doesn’t reciprocate, Maggie notices their interdependence. She observes Pauline’s beauty, wealth and freedom with wry detachment, but she needs all her self-control to tamp down her growing attraction to Liam. A series of unsolved murders whose victims are local young women provides narrative counterpoint. Community benefits are held for the survivors, but parents guard their daughters fearfully. Trust’s in short supply. After Pauline’s sent to Milwaukee for her protection, Liam and Maggie draw closer, and Maggie’s swept away. As she did in Tiger Lily (2012), Anderson provides an observer’s voice, a sort of pared-down Greek chorus, that foreshadows and warns of what is coming while remaining helpless to prevent it.
An intensely gripping tale with a surprise ending that’s fully earned. (Fiction. 12 & up)