Warner, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book
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Reviewed by Wesley Williamson
hoda Swift, a sheriff's deputy in a fictional California county, is still haunted by a tragedy that occurred thirteen years earlier. As a rookie, she was the first to find two entire families (including two children) shot to death. They were living in a remote canyon on the Pacific coast. Blamed for mistakes in handling the case, Rhoda grew dependent on alcohol and pills. She lost her husband and nearly lost her job, before she was able to pull herself together.
ow, near the anniversary of these deaths, shadows from the past gather around the body of a murdered girl pulled out of the sea. Rhoda and other Point Deception townspeople had seen this girl beside her broken down car but none of them, for various good and sufficient reasons, stopped to help. Another who did not stop was Guy Newberry, a best selling author, come to structure a book around the old, unsolved crime. He soon discovers that it has left a legacy of fear and suspicion to obscure the truth.
is a dark, scary tale, lightened somewhat by the budding romance between Rhoda and Guy, and the resolution of Rhoda's unhappy relationship with her father. The mystery is complex and well designed to hold attention, and Rhoda quickly gains the respect and affection of the reader. Let us hope that this is only the first of a series.
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