A married couple covers up a murder, kicking off an engaging, literary suspense novel.
When Maggie kills an intruder in the home she shares with her husband, Chris, they face a seemingly untenable dilemma. It’s complicated by the fact that she publicly flirted with the murder victim before he began stalking her. Chris, irreparably scarred by events in his past, insists that they can’t trust the police and must conceal the body. But detectives zero in on them almost immediately, arriving at their home to question them the very next day. The ensuing investigation will test Maggie and Chris’ bonds of love and loyalty more than they could have ever imagined. How far will they go to protect each other when the police narrow their investigation further? Debut author Moretti’s prose is taut and elegant, with some passages that are positively lyrical (“[B]efore Maggie, his life had nothing….After, well, after was a love seismograph—sharp, ecstatic peaks and equally deep, despairing valleys, all intermingled with the apathetic flat line of the everyday”). The deft pacing allows time for plot complications to develop while also keeping readers turning pages. The author vividly portrays the sharp sting of infidelity, the abiding ache of infertility and the amorphous discontent of a love past its luster—all while moving the murder investigation swiftly forward. The foreshadowing is so skillful that plot twists feel surprising yet somehow inevitable. Other subtle touches (such as Maggie’s cracking the skull of the intruder with a Lenox vase, a wedding present) will further enhance readers’ pleasure. The dialogue is natural and authentic, and the story builds steadily to a satisfying, emotionally resonant conclusion.
A gripping, psychologically nuanced thriller set along the fault lines of a marriage.