Anna Jamieson was only three when her five-year-old sister Julie was murdered, and all her life she's been haunted by indistinct memories of the horrific, still-unsolved crime she may have witnessed.
Her many relatives had gathered for a party that night and were trapped by the arrival of a hurricane, an unusual event for metropolitan New York. Not until morning did anyone know that an intruder had come and gone, leaving behind a small, still corpse. Relatives in South Carolina helped the Jamiesons move to a new house in Charleston, but the family never got over the overwhelming grief, and Anna grew up troubled, afflicted by a sense of dread and what she came to know as survivor's guilt, even though she's now a successful portrait photographer When her uncle Eli pulls a few strings to land her a job with a newspaper conglomerate in New York, she accepts despite her parents' misgivings. Her hardboiled boss tells her to get cracking immediately and find a headline story to shoot, then introduces her to a likable reporter named Dixon, who shows her around and helps her find a Williamsburg loft. In a New York minute, she's following cops and detectives in pursuit of a particularly vicious serial killer. Forensic psychologist Ted Callendar fills her in on the gruesome details, aided by Dr. Clu Baldwin, a noted investigator at the Latham Forensics Laboratory. Certain similarities in the cases lead to a reopening of the files on her sister's long-ago murder, and Anna stumbles upon a web of family lies and malignant relationships. Past and present converge with dizzying speed as the killer gets careless—and closer to Anna. Her memories of Julie's slaying suddenly become terrifyingly clear: now she knows she's meant to be next.
Tough-minded, exceptionally well-written suspense from Kelman (After the Fall, 1999, etc.). The breakneck pace never flags, and the grittiness of New York settings and people is just right.