This small-town psychological thriller focuses on Anna Winger, a handwriting analyst whose expertise is requested in the case of a missing local boy. Evidence points to the mother kidnapping her son in order to protect him from her abusive husband. Anna knows firsthand about domestic violence and has mixed feelings about the investigation. She also is struggling with her own son, Joshua, a sullen teenager who is fed up with their constant moving. Eventually, Anna is forced to face her past demons but neither she, nor the reader, is prepared for what she uncovers. The menace steadily builds; Anna’s fear is palpable in every word, every scene. You may not know what it all means initially but that only makes the pages turn faster. The last half takes off like a rocket, hurtling toward a chilling climax. An atmospheric literary thriller with razor sharp insight and beautiful prose.— From Sarah Chen
“In this story, the devil is, indeed, in the details. You think you're being distracted, only to learn that Rader-Day is actually building layers of evidence for the reader, connecting a framework of apparent incidentals to reach a pinnacle of suspense. Almost anyone can be guilty, but only one is a villain. You unexpectedly feel sympathy for certain characters, partly because they're so genuine. I neglected things because I HAD to finish this book. You will, too.”
— Tracy Aleksy (W), Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, Forest Park, IL
From the award-winning author of Little Pretty Things comes this gripping, unforgettable tale of a mother's desperate search for a lost boy.
Anna Winger can know people better than they know themselves with only a glance—at their handwriting. Hired out by companies wanting to land trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn hoping to find happiness, Anna likes to keep the real-life mess of other people at arm’s length and on paper. But when she is called to use her expertise on a note left behind at a murder scene in the small town she and her son have recently moved to, the crime gets under Anna’s skin and rips open her narrow life for all to see. To save her son—and herself—once and for all, Anna will face her every fear, her every mistake, and the past she thought she'd rewritten.
Lori Rader-Day is the author of Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. She is a three-time Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee, winning the award in 2016. Lori lives in Chicago.