By Jayne Ann Krentz
A thrilling novel of ardour, homicide, small-town secrets and techniques, and scandal dropped at mild. Shy, studious Irene Stenson and wild, privileged Pamela Webb have been the easiest of neighbors for one brief highschool summer season. Their friendship ended the evening Pamela dropped Irene off at home-and Irene walked in to find her mom and dad' our bodies at the kitchen flooring. It was once governed a murder-suicide, and Irene fled the northern California city of Dunsley. yet seventeen years later, whilst Pamela sends a cryptic electronic mail soliciting for aid, Irene returns to her native land to discover her previous buddy has died all at once, abandoning loads of gruesome, unanswered questions. stuck up in a firestorm of determined deceit and long-buried secrets and techniques, Irene is aware it will most likely be smarter to only close up and go away Dunsley in the back of back, yet her reporter's instinct-and her personal starvation to grasp the truth-compel her to increase her remain on the neighborhood inn. much more compelling is the guy who runs the place-a hazel-eyed ex-Marine who is as used to giving orders as Irene is to ignoring them. Luke Danner can see the phobia underneath Irene Stenson's convinced exterior-and he's rationale on preserving her. yet he's additionally pushed via passions of his personal, and jointly they're going to hazard way over neighborhood gossip to deal with what occurred to Pamela Webb, and what relatively occurred on that long-ago summer time evening. . . .
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Luke wondered. The question had plagued him all night and still nagged at him this morning, a tiny spark that could ignite a forest fire if he didn't stomp it out. Dots. They were the bane of his existence. The compulsion to connect them in order to find patterns was an addiction. You do not need this problem. You've got enough of your own. You're supposed to be trying to get your life back together. That's a full-time occupation at the moment. Maxine ladled coffee into a paper filter. "After her aunt took her away, there was a lot of talk around town about how Irene had probably been traumatized for life.
A terrible, stomach-churning smell wafted out through the opening. Had some animals gotten into the house? Her mother would have a fit in the morning. But a part of her already knew that things were horribly wrong. She started to shiver violently. It was all she could do to move one foot across the threshold and grope for the switch on the wall. The lights came on, dazzling her for a couple of seconds. Then she saw the blood on the kitchen floor. She heard someone screaming. In some remote corner of her mind she understood that she was the one who was uttering the high, desperate, frantic cries of grief, horror and denial.
Five Maxine blew in through the lobby door at nine o'clock, moving like the small whirlwind she was. She was an attractive, high-energy woman in her mid-thirties with blue eyes and a cloud of artificially blond hair that always looked as if it had been whipped up by the rotor blades of a helicopter. She controlled the wild hair with a headband. Luke had discovered over the past few months that she had an endless assortment of bands, each in a different color. Today's was bright pink. He found her enthusiasm for her job amusing, inexplicable and mildly exhausting.