Twenty years after a member of a clique of Pennsylvania high schoolers dies violently, death threatens to reduce the surviving members of the favored circle to zero.
Even though she lives with her parents in tony Brandywine Hunt, Allie Garvey isn’t really a charter member of Sasha Barrow’s clique. Her involvement dates only from the moment when she and the glamorous Sasha, whom she happens to have run into while out jogging, come upon their neighbors David Hybrinski and Julian Browne digging up something the boys jealously guard from sight. The treasured item is a .38 revolver, and although Allie recoils from it, once Sasha sees it, she can’t seem to forget about it. When Kyle Gallagher, a newcomer to the neighborhood already burdened with an unspeakable secret, finds Sasha’s lost cat in a tree and returns it to her, he too is drawn into the little circle, which abruptly dissolves when a drunken dare goes terribly wrong, leaving one of them dead and the others variously traumatized and scrambling for cover. The Bakerton police don’t come calling because they suspect nothing, but the years that follow bring no peace to Allie, and the apparent suicide of another member of the clique on the 20th anniversary of the first death makes her resolve to confront the others with her determination to speak out about the dark secret they share. It’s a resolve that will carry a high price, and not just for her. The veteran creator of the law firm of Rosato and DiNunzio (Feared, 2018, etc.) brings her troubled teens and the equally screwed-up adults they become to melodramatically vivid life, slowly ratcheting up the tempo right up to the last muffled twist.
The author’s acknowledgments call her latest stand-alone a “deep domestic,” a description it would be hard to improve on—as long as you understand that what’s deep are the emotions, not the ideas.