Marissa Fordham had a past full of secrets, a present full of lies. Everyone knew of her, but no one knew her.
When Marissa is found brutally murdered, with her young daughter, Haley, resting her head on her mother's bloody breast, she sends the idyllic California town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Already on edge with the upcoming trial of the See-No-Evil killer, residents are shocked by reports of the crime scene, which might not have been discovered for days had it not been for a chilling 911 call: a small child's voice saying, "My daddy hurt my mommy."
Sheriff's detective Tony Mendez faces a puzzle with nothing but pieces that won't fit. To assist with his witness, Haley, he calls teacher-turned-child advocate Anne Leone. Anne's life is hectic enough - she's a newlywed and a part-time student in child psychology, and she's the star witness in the See-No-Evil trial. But one look at Haley, alone and terrified, and Anne's heart is stolen.
As Tony and Anne begin to peel back the layers of Marissa Fordham's life, they find a clue fragment here, another there. And just when it seems Marissa has taken her secrets to the grave, they uncover a fact that puts Anne and Haley directly in the sights of a killer: Marissa Fordham never existed.
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"Newcomers will have no trouble getting into this suspense novel rich in pre-DNA detecting methods." - Publishers Weekly
"Fans of literate mysteries will appreciate the complex but realistic story, the satisfying resolution and the descriptive writing." - Kirkus
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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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