California, 1984. Three children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre, shocked by this discovery and heartbroken as she witnesses the end of their innocence. What she doesn't yet realize is that this will mark the end of innocence for an entire community, as the ties that bind families and friends are tested by secrets uncovered in the wake of a serial killer's escalating activity.
Detective Tony Mendez, fresh from a law enforcement course at FBI headquarters, is charged with interpreting those now revealed secrets. He's using a new technique -profiling - to develop a theory of the case, a strategy that pushes him ever deeper into the lives of the three children, and closer to the young teacher whose interest in recent events becomes as intense as his own.
As new victims are found and the media scrutiny of the investigation bears down on them, both Mendez and Navarre are unsure if those who suffer most are the victims themselves-or the family and friends of the killer, blissfully unaware that someone very close to them is a brutal, calculating psychopath.
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"Starred Review. Once again, bestselling Hoag plots craftily and creates characters readers root for." - Kirkus Reviews
"Intertwining the effects of the crime on her characters, the attempt is satisfactory." - Library Journal
"This is serial killer lite with Hoag's romance roots dictating both the prose style and the unveiling of the killer." - Publishers Weekly
"The chilling premise and exciting twists make Hoags latest a thriller in every sense of the word." - Booklist
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With fifteen consecutive Times bestsellers to her credit, including Deeper Than the Dead, Secrets to the Grave, and Prior Bad Acts, Tami Hoag has more than 35 million books in print, published in more than twenty languages worldwide. Her first thriller, Night Sins, was made into a two-part mini-series in 1997.
A favorite of readers and critics alike, Hoag began her career writing for Bantam's Loveswept line of romance novels, penning sixteen titles in five years. The novels ranged from romantic comedy to romantic suspense, with richly drawn characters and sharply written dialogue the hallmarks of Hoag's style. These traits carry through to her thrillers, along with fast-paced plots and dead-on police procedure.
Born in Iowa, raised in Minnesota, Tami Hoag left the frigid ...
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