In the sleepy community of Seven Springs, Florida, a serial killer is targeting elderly women.
Investigating the killings takes a back seat to the drama of the community itself in this debut novel. Owens populates her tale with characters who all find themselves caught in a web spun long ago, deftly threading together lives fraught with personal crises and the emotional price of recovery, using unexpected violations to link her characters. Much of the action centers on Bernard White, a widower who still hears the voices of his long-dead wife, Irene, and of his long-dead mistress, Vera, reminding him to take his medications. Amy, the first victim's neighbor, has survived a hysterectomy and double mastectomy but cannot save her marriage. Even in her despair, Amy is driven by the first murder to reopen her garage art studio, and what she paints surprises her: she sees not only the woman's death, but also the murderer, which is impossible, of course, because Amy has no idea who the murderer is. Yet her obsession with discovering his identity awakens not only the suspicions of the local police department, but also the wrath of the true killer. Meanwhile, Maddie, just 15, struggles to make financial and emotional ends meet now that her mother has abandoned the family. Maddie works most days after school at a local diner, where the men of the town try to catch her attention. Eventually she gives in, accepting a date with Nate, a young man whose intentions become increasingly dubious. As Bernard’s, Amy's, and Maddie's lives converge, the serial killer’s connection to Seven Springs forces open the closet doors to skeletons long hidden.
A slow-burning thriller that explores the cost of love turned askew.