After suffering a long bought of depression from the stillborn birth of her second child, former attorney Molly Sanderson has taken a job as a staff writer for the Ridgedale Reader reporting mostly on arts and entertainment. With their crime reporter unavailable, Molly is called to investigate the news of a body found near the creek on Ridgedale University’s campus, where her husband Justin is a professor.
When she arrives on the scene she discovers from Ridgedale Police Chief Steve that the body found was that of an infant, but any other details are being kept tightly under wraps. In preparation for her first online post on the case, she researches any previous murders over the last twenty years and finds that a teenager died at the same location where the infant was found, although his death was ruled an accident.
Meanwhile a secondary plot thread is introduced that centers on a teenager girl, Sandy, whose unreliable mother, Jenna, has gone missing. Sandy is new to town hasn’t registered for school because her mom depends the income of Sandy’s waitressing job for their meager survival. However, school teacher Rhea convinces Sandy to go back for her GED and sets her up with a tutor, Hannah, who is the police chief’s daughter. Hannah’s mother is Barbara, the judgmental parent of her much younger brother who is the same kindergarten class as Molly’s daughter.
This was an excellent novel of psychological suspense that I couldn’t put down. McCreight casts a cloud of doubt over so many of her characters that you don’t know who to trust until the truth is revealed, which makes for an engrossing read. Molly is a sympathetic character who’s sadness over losing a child is totally understandable. I liked this so much that I am reading McCreight’s first novel, Reconstructing Amelia, next. Kimberly McCreight is the new Chevy Stevens for me.