Haunted by a decade-old murder, Tessa faces ghosts from the past that threaten her future.
Tessa and her best friend, Callie, have never talked about the summer night when they were 8 and Callie’s cousin Lori was killed. After a trial that sent Wyatt Stokes to death row for Lori’s murder, the two friends lost contact when Tessa moved away from their hometown of Fayette, Pennsylvania. Nine years later, Tessa must return to Fayette, where she finds Callie partying to excess as a means of escaping the past. Tessa also finds lingering questions about the night Lori died—questions she had tried to leave behind when she left Fayette. Tessa and Callie are a few months away from starting college and moving forward with the rest of their lives, but now they are both looking back, desperate to find out the truth about what really happened to Lori that night. Their search for answers leads to many twists and turns in this fast-paced mystery-thriller. Thomas carefully crafts the suspense, leaving present-tense narrator Tessa—and readers—to doubt even those she loves the most. Working-class Tessa’s troubled background and the small-town western Pennsylvania setting add texture as the tension builds all the way to the I-didn’t-see-that-coming conclusion.
An unsettling story of loss, lies, and violence lurking in the shadows of a small town. (Thriller. 14 & up)