Two women whose lives are connected by a deadly old house embark on a collision course in Unger’s latest thriller.
Claudia Bishop’s daughter, Raven, hates her new home. The 15-year-old, who’s picked on at school because she’s both new and impossibly beautiful, longs for her old life in Manhattan while her mother sets about renovating a beat-up farmhouse in rural New Jersey and starting a blog about it. A single mother, Claudia left her husband, Ayers, years ago; their marriage fell apart after she was brutally raped by a stranger who broke into their apartment, and Claudia found out she was pregnant soon afterward. Claudia raised Raven with full knowledge of the rape that may—or may not—have produced her, and Raven is now considering a paternity test to determine whether Ayers or her mother’s rapist is her biological father. Meanwhile, in New York, martial artist Zoey hunts the men who killed her parents and tried to kill her when she was a young teenager. When Josh Beckham, a handyman who lives near Claudia, is brought in to fix some things and Zoey finds one of the men who killed her parents, the women find themselves tied to one another by the home in which Claudia now lives. Unger plots an intricate story with multiple points of view and converging storylines. With plenty of action and a brisk pace, the author manages to keep all the balls in the air even when the dizzying slate of characters overlaps and things occasionally become confusing. The convoluted story is absorbing, and Unger introduces intriguing characters (although Raven comes across as relentlessly selfish and Claudia is a milquetoast mother). However, the book holds its own until the final resolution, which feels both rushed and tacked on as a means to resolve all the collective mysteries and loose ends kicked up in the story.
All twisty and turny and the things this genre should be, but the ending’s entirely predictable.