New York Times’ bestselling author Jackson puts her touch on this dark thriller and tale of forbidden romance.
Ava Church Garrison has it all. She’s beautiful, a near-genius and wealthy. Married to a handsome attorney and living in her family’s ancestral home on a small island off the coast of Washington, her future couldn’t be brighter, except for one small problem. It appears to everyone, including Ava, that she’s lost her mind. It all started when she lost her child. Two-year-old Noah wandered out of the house, and authorities believe he fell into the icy water and drowned. But Ava won’t accept this. She keeps searching for Noah, her searches prompted by sounds and visions she can’t control. No matter what she does, Ava keeps hearing Noah call for help and sees him toddling off toward the dock. To add to Ava’s issues, she has her loony-bin-worthy family living with her. Her cousin, Jewel-Anne, wheelchair-bound following an accident that killed Ava’s only brother, and the rest of her family treat her like she’s a basket case. Even her best friend (who's Jewel-Anne’s nurse) and the household help are creepy. In fact, everyone in the book qualifies as a character out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Plus, there’s also the little problem of the escaped madman, who may or may not still be hiding on the island, and Ava’s therapist, a woman she fears has grown too close to Ava’s husband, Wyatt. Soon, the landscape is littered with bodies, and Ava is rapidly finding herself the target of a police investigation. With only the help of a newly hired hand on the estate, she tries to prove she’s not crazy and find her son in the bargain. Jackson’s book is crammed with suspects and a palpable air of creepiness, but readers will spot a number of inconsistencies in the story and ultimately grow weary of the way she draws out the action with unnecessary dialogue and details.
Melodramatic and filled with a lot of pointless meanderings, but Jackson’s many fans will still enjoy it.