Top positive review
This is a story of murder, mystery, and parentage.
Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2019
I received a pre-release copy of this book to review. This review is my opinion about this book.
If you are a parent, you will identify with the way this book begins. As the story unfolds, a stomach virus has come into the Dane family by way of school, Mia and Ava brought the virus home and as they are getting better, preschooler Sophie gets it. Of course, it hits her like a stomach virus used to hit my daughter, in the middle of the night. Needless to say her bed has to be changed and, of course, she then wants to sleep with Morgan and Lance. When my daughter was a child and she got sick to her stomach, she would also throw up in her bed. One night I changed her sheets three times. So I knew how Morgan and Lance felt the next morning
Then there is a teenager, Evan Meade, who is on Lance’s hockey team. He is more than two hours late getting home and knows he is in trouble. His mother, Tina, now married to former deputy sheriff Paul Knox, is an ER nurse. When she works late Paul always leaves a light on for her. But tonight, although Tina is working later than normal because the stomach virus going around has the ER swamped. So, when Evan gets home the house is totally dark.
After Kirk Meade, Evan's father, was sent to prison, Tina divorced him. Kirk has recently been released from prison and has petitioned for visitation rights. Evan has been ordered to spend Sunday evenings with Kirk but he hates having to visit with his dad and is always in a really bad mood afterward. He usually takes his frustration out on Paul, even though he really likes Paul.
Tonight, he returns home to find Paul on the floor in a pool of blood, a stranger standing over him wearing a badge on his waistband, and then sees the stranger shoot Paul in the head. Before he is killed, Paul mouths that Evan should run.
Tina returns home from work to find her husband dead and her son missing. She calls Morgan and Lance because she feels Evan would respond more favorably to Lance that he would the police. Lance and Morgan remain with Tina until the Sheriff arrives.
The Sheriff and his people conduct a search of the house and surrounding area. Lance asks to be allowed to take part in the search for Evan because he wants to be sure he returns to his mother alive. After the Sheriff takes the statements of Tina, Lance, and Morgan he agrees to let Lance participate in the search because the weather has caused his department to be short staffed..
A few days later, Tina is called to the Sheriff’s office for a follow-up interview. It is there she is confronted with an angry sheriff and her past. The Sheriff is angry because she did not tell him her entire story at the time of the initial interview. The new information puts her on his list of either suspects or accessories.
The sheriff has discovered Tina is the daughter of a man well-known as Newark, New Jersey’s, drug lord and murderer. His name is Joe Martin. (Everytime I read this name it got me, my husband, prior to his death, and my son are both “Joe Martins.” Neither, however, was/is a drug lord or murderer.)
Joe Martin was arrested, tried, and convicted on the strength of Tina’s testimony. After the trial, Tina ran, changed her name, became a nurse, and remarried. And, as they say, the plot thickens. The man who became her second husband was the man who arrested first husband.
The man who shot Paul threatened Evan and even shot him in the arm. Evan uses his speed and knowledge of the area to get away. Unfortunately, when he cleared the back fence, he lost his phone. It’s not long before, based on what medical knowledge he has learned from his mom, he knows infection is beginning to set up in his arm.
Randolph County’s weather is in a rainy pattern and the rivers and lakes are dangerously high. Evan manages to find a cave, and trust me, it's not that simple, near the Scarlet Falls lake beach area, and eventually makes contact with a friend.
The friend calls Evan’s mom and, once his mom finds out he is alive but in need of medical attention, she swings into action. Unfortunately, her half-brother, Aaron Martin, who ran “dad’s business” while he was in prison gets to her first. Then it is up to Lance to see if he can turn the situation around while Morgan helps the friend, who has also been shot.
Meanwhile, Lincoln Sharp and Olivia, his reporter friend, who did a story on Joe Martin 25 years earlier, make a trip to visit with Joe Martin. This puts their lives in danger.
Melinda Leigh has done it again. I think I held my breath reading this book more than any other book she has written. But if you like a good mystery, I highly recommend this book.