A young reporter investigates both a murder and herself in this no-holds-barred thriller debut.
Only 25, Olivia Dale is far from an old hand on the crime beat—not even veteran enough to have learned who's who among the Memphis cops. Clearly, though, she's the stuff real reporters are made of. When Allison Avery's raped and tortured dead body is discovered, Olivia is all over the story. Nothing matters more—friends, lovers, discretion, principles—than cracking this particular case. If she has to twist the truth to the dead girl's brother in order to gain his trust-and some usable quotes—so be it. But then a curious thing happens to Olivia: she gets too close. People have been telling her that she looks like Allison, and all at once she sees it. More than that, it haunts her. One day, having lied her way into Allison's apartment, she discovers a pink wig that Allison wore in one of her more ambiguous moods. She puts it on, and the resemblance is intensified—and transmuting. Suddenly, much more is involved than the rush of a front-page byline. A shift has taken place, and it's the overwhelming need to know Allison, to be Allison in some inexplicable way, that now drives Olivia. Ever the risk-lover, she gambles heedlessly—with her safety, with her very life—as she pursues her complex investigation. When it's finished, however, she's left with the unsettling realization that "everyone we know has a world we can't enter." And that she, Olivia, has a world inaccessible to herself.
An unsparing portrait of a woman who drinks too much, pushes too hard, and whose choices are frequently easy to disapprove of. But with this taut, tense thriller Stewart debuts auspiciously.