Off the coast of Washington, there’s a tiny island called Folly, and though Rae Newborn, who inherited it from her great-uncle Desmond, is its sole resident, someone seems to be stalking her. A furniture maker who is also an authentic artist, Rae’s come there, drawn from her home in California by an idea as strange as it is irresistible: She wants to rebuild old Desmond’s house, most of which burned to the ground many years ago, entirely by herself. Fate hasn’t been kind to Rae. A severe post-partum depression spoiled her relationship with her older daughter. Her adored younger daughter and her passionately loved husband were killed by a drunk driver. Twice, she’s attempted suicide, most recently within the past year. Still shaky, she nevertheless feels the barest stirrings of optimism building inside her. She can’t really explain how it works, but if she succeeds in building that house, then maybe . . . . And yet someone or something on the island is hostile to her. If it’s human, is it someone she knows? Someone she inadvertently hurt? Battling the stalker and her own emotional fragility, Rae manages to face down her terrors, learning the hard way “that there is no such thing as safety; there is only strength.”
The blend of murder mystery and psychological thriller is bread and butter for King (Night Work, 2000, etc.). Though she’s done better work elsewhere, her readers will probably respond to her appealing heroine and forgive the occasional soapiness.