A pair of complex cases confounds a dogged crime reporter and unsettles the small Connecticut town where she lives.
When Betsy Caviness douses her dead-drunk husband, Jim, in gasoline and sets him on fire, recovering alcoholic Geneva Chase, who edits Sheffield’s newspaper, feels more pity for the abused perp than the victim, who’d recently been arrested for trafficking minors for sex. Betsy’s million-dollar bail is posted by a group called FOL, which stands for “Friends of Lydia,” whose members freely acknowledge their secrecy, piquing Geneva’s interest even more. Meanwhile, she’s disturbed by the disappearance of Bobbi Jarvis, a high school sophomore who’s the best friend of her ward, Caroline. Caroline’s father, Kevin, who died tragically, was Geneva’s lover (Random Road, 2017). What makes Bobbi’s disappearance even more puzzling is that she’d recently been cast in a production with New York aspirations. At a local gas station, police discover closed-circuit video that shows Bobbi getting into a car owned by Jacob Addison, the school’s drama club coach. Bobbi’s parents are estranged, and the gambling addiction of her bisexual dad, Adam, has recently created serious financial problems. When Geneva tracks him down at his apartment, she makes a gruesome discovery. Could these two crimes possibly be connected? Multiple murders and shocking twists are key components in Geneva’s ultimate uncovering of the truth.
The flawed but dedicated heroine anchors Kies’ second mystery with a compassion that compels readers to root for both justice and redemption.