Sennie Lacefield has always felt safe at her family’s peaceful mountain lodge…
The only break in her tranquil life was the death of her boyfriend Patrick Devon, which left her heartbroken and unable to understand Patrick’s sullen, withdrawn brother Lonnie. But when her best friend Reatha Alcoker disappears, her sense of security is shattered. With the help of Reatha’s boyfriend Milo Durham, she launches a search for her friend.
More girls disappear, and bodies begin turning up…
When one of the missing girls is found dead in a swamp with a symbol burned into her forehead, Sennie focuses on her growing list of suspects. She can’t count on help from the lazy, lecherous Sheriff Warford Cackley. She also has suspicions the sheriff’s son Rex and his nasty friend Ottis know more than they’re willing to share.
Someone is watching Sennie’s every move…
Refusing to believe Reatha is dead, Sennie and Milo continue their frantic search, and Sennie is plagued with threatening messages. When another girl’s body is discovered, she and Milo visit the site and find evidence that Reatha has also been there. Some aerial photographs might hold a vital clue…if they can find them in time.
As Sennie unravels a tangled web of secrets, arson, burglary, and murder, could it be that a desire to help Sennie has warped the mind of a murderer?
I liked this story well enough, as the story was quite compelling and the writing style was engaging, but I doubt I would read it again.
The main issue I had with this book is that it was really predictable. I knew who the murderer was from extremely early on, and I’m not typically one who spots this type of thing till near the end, so that’s saying something. Aside from that, the story itself was pretty good. If I ignored the fact I knew who the mysterious bad guy was, I was able to enjoy the story as Sennie and Milo investigated.
I still don’t know when this book is set. Most of the time it felt like the ’50s based on how people talked (the old men calling her “Miss Sennie,” for example), but there seemed to be some technologies that suggested it was a little later. This bothered me just enough that I was a bit distracted through the whole book.
One thing that stood out for me was the characterisation. I felt that the characters were all pretty well formed. There was some great development with Rex and, to a degree, Ottis. I actually really liked the main character, Sennie, and thought her intense loyalty to Reatha was admirable.
I didn’t really understand why some of the subplots existed, like what happened with Jenny Ferris, and the attempted arson. That didn’t seem to have anything to do with the main plot, unlike what happened with Eva, which actually was connected to the main storyline. Sure, they led to a small chain of event, but I felt that they weren’t completely necessary.
Overall, I thought this book was good. The main let-down for me was the unconvincing mystery; it was just too easy to guess the outcome. I liked the characters and relationships, but I wasn’t on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out what happened next; I definitely was a little curious, though. The writing style made this book really comfortable to read, so I was able to get through it easily enough. I think if the mystery had been more of a mystery, I would have rated this book much higher.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*