New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline (Feared, 2018, etc.) returns with another heart-thumping, Harlan Coben-esque domestic thriller that packs a serious punch.
When a group of teenagers—Allie, Sasha, David, and Julian—find a gun near their Philadelphia neighborhood one summer, they decide to use it to pull a harmless prank on a new kid, forcing him to play Russian Roulette with the unloaded pistol as a form of “initiation,” into their clique.
Instead, tragedy strikes when Kyle Gallagher dies from the self-inflicted .38 round gunshot to the head—an accident that haunts the remaining members twenty years later as they each guard their dark secret . . . until new evidence surfaces suggesting that Kyle’s death might not have been an accident, after all.
It’s years later, after a funeral, that Allie Garvey finally decides she can no longer carry the burden of what they did and have been hiding for so long, and confronts the other remaining members of the group, a move that has swift consequences for everyone. Worse yet, it becomes clear that somebody knows what actually happened, and as Allie searches for the truth, she inadvertently digs up other secrets in the process, exposing one horrific, ugly truth after another—leading to a jaw-dropping ending that readers will never see coming.
Alternating between the 1990s and the present day, Scottoline rotates character POVs, slowly revealing what really happened through the eyes of everyone involved, including the parents. While introducing that many characters does slow the beginning down just a tad, the well-laid-out plot and Scottoline’s strong prose will keep readers invested and entertained well into the story’s second act, when things kick into hyperdrive. It’s hard nowadays, in the post-Gone Girl era, to truly catch readers off-guard. From unreliable narrators to unforeseen twists out of left field that offer more shock than substance, today’s reader has pretty much seen it all, which is why Scottoline’s latest offering is so special—she lands that coveted haymaker, one that’ll leave her fans reeling and have people talking about her book for a long, long time.
Lisa Scottoline shows once again why she’s the queen of suspense, delivering a relentless, gut-punch of a thriller that’s sure to stand among the year’s best.
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: April 9, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 9.0/10
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.