Different! A page-turning psychological thriller with so many twists you can’t look up for a moment, and, at the same time, an in depth look at love, family, and the complex relationships between women.
When the story opens Nicolette Farrell is reluctantly leaving Philadelphia and her wealthy fiance to return home to Cooley Ridge, a small town nestled among mountains and woods. Her brother has called to tell her their Dad is running out of money. To keep him in a luxury nursing home they will need to sell the house they both grew up in. The house with a back yard running back to woods with a river and deep, dark caverns just a walk away.
Nicolette’s memories of Cooley Ridge are mixed, some happy, some dark, especially of the time just before she left, when her best friend, Corrine, suddenly disappeared.
The first chapter sets up the story and introduces all the characters, including Tyler, Nic’s high school sweetheart who never stopped loving her, Dan, her brother, wracked with an unspecified guilt, and Patrick Farrell, her father, sometimes lost in a fog of alzheimer’s, sometimes terrifyingly clear.
It isn’t her brother’s call that sends Nicolette hurrying home. It’s a note from her father, scrawled in his own shaky hand. “I need to talk to you. That girl. I saw that girl.”
After Nicolette’s first day back in Cooley Ridge, the story jumps fifteen days ahead. The story is then told in reverse. Each chapter is the day BEFORE. It adds an extra layer of suspense, a tension hard to ignore.
This story took me by surprise. More than once. And I’m a voracious, life-long reader of thrillers, who usually knows the killer’s name long before the end. I love to be surprised, to have all the pieces fall neatly into place. I’ll be looking for more from Megan Miranda.