Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods.
A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity. It s a triumphant, inspiring story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found, and it will be up to someone like Livia to analyze the evidence and finally determine her sister’s fate. Instead, the first clue to Nicole s disappearance comes from another body that shows up in Livia’s morgue that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan for help, hoping to learn more about the night the two were taken. Other girls have gone missing too, and Livia is increasingly certain the cases are connected.
But Megan knows more than she revealed in her blockbuster book. Flashes of memory are coming together, pointing to something darker and more monstrous than her chilling memoir describes. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for.
It’s been a year since Megan and Nicole disappeared from a beach party. Megan returned just two weeks afterwards, but Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister Livia is completing her fellowship in pathology. One day an unexpected body shows up in the morgue where she works. Once this body is identified as a man from Nicole’s past, she is left wondering if there could be a connection between him and her missing sister. Livia, driven by guilt and unanswered questions, becomes determined to find out what happened to her sister.
This book grabbed my attention right away; it is slow to evolve, but it works. The story goes back and forth between the time period before the disappearance of the two girls and one year after Megan’s return. The time period before the disappearance gets steadily closer and closer to the day of the disappearance, building the suspense. During the year before the girls went missing, the story is primarily told from the perspective of Nicole. After Megan’s return, the story is told from the perspective of Megan and Livia. I thought this was a terrific way to tell the story.
“People don’t really know me. Some people know the girl from before the abduction. Because of the book, lots of people know the girl from the interviews and on the pages. But I’m not really either of those people.” – Megan
The autopsy descriptions were a bit graphic for me. Other than that I found this book to be a well-written suspense novel that keeps you on your toes and guessing “who done it” throughout. This is my first book by Charlie Donlea and it certainly won’t be my last.
Thank you NetGalley, Kensington Publishing Corporation, and Charlie Donlea for an opportunity to read and give my honest opinion about this book.
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Publication Date: 4/25/2017
Pages: 320 (eBook)