A landscaper thinks she’s designing the garden of her dreams…until money troubles and a possible murder pull her into a nightmare.
Alice Hyatt is trying to move on with her life after her husband’s disappearance; he took millions of dollars and a female accomplice with him. She finds solace and stability in her landscaping business, Green Acres. When nearby millionaire Graham Mackenzie asks her to design his garden, she can’t say no—not just because he promises to give a generous donation to her best friend’s charity, but because she wants to take on the challenge of creating the most beautiful garden in the Berkshires. Mackenzie doesn’t exactly have a spotless reputation, however—he earned his money in the hydraulic fracturing industry, and many residents aren’t happy about it. Alice’s controversial client soon causes her problems with many locals, including Tom Deaver, the environmental writer on whom she develops a crush. But Mackenzie doesn’t really cause trouble until he drops dead—without paying Alice the hefty check she earned by creating his garden. When the police reveal that Mackenzie died under suspicious circumstances, Alice realizes that she's a suspect. It turns out most people in town had a motive to kill Mackenzie, and Alice takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of the mystery. “Gardening thriller” may seem an unlikely genre, but Gyllenhaal (A Place for Us, 2013, etc.) pulls it off. The novel deftly balances comforting descriptions of gardens and small-town life with the suspenseful unraveling of a mystery.
A compelling story of one woman’s attempt to find herself, build her business and solve a mystery.