“Being around your mother, it’s like she infects you or something.”
One night, one horrific night on campus has followed Sienna Scott for ten years, the night she nearly tripped over the fresh corpse of a murdered young woman. This act of violence, the strange fact that they had both been wearing the same coat plants the seed that maybe it was she the killer was truly after! In the aftermath of the crime, her father believes she is making connections that aren’t there, that Sienna is fragile, like her mother who suffers from a delusional disorder. That her mother has passed on more than her looks to her daughter, that one particular cop (Randall “Randy” Clark) has been getting too close to Sienna and fueling her mad theory that she was the intended victim while trying to catch the killer. The only way to save her from a mental decline is to send her away to London, far away from her mother and the stink of the crime.
Ten years later, her father has been dead for five years, her half-brother left behind to watch over Sienna’s mother feeling resentment and fear that she is falling under her mother’s influence again, adamant still she was the intended victim. His life is crumbling too with his own relationship woes. Sienna longs to move on, to open a restaurant but her plans are being thwarted at every turn and everyone seems to have their own miserable secrets. It isn’t family trouble alone that is reviving the past, the murder case has been re-opened. Officer Randy is once again on the scene, the reason she was sent away to begin with! The cop her family feared was playing with her mind to benefit the investigation all those years ago but he was her friend, he made her feel safer. Her mother is far more frail than Sienna could have imagined, worse than when she left. Afraid of the police, armed with a gun, suspicious even of Sienna’s half-brother Brad and Sienna being home seems to be triggering her mother’s mental decline.
Across the street is the new neighbor Jonathan, renovating the place, a ‘house flipper’. Despite not knowing much about him, there is instant chemistry and desire but with the past haunting her, how does she know who she can trust? Being in his arms is the most exhilarated she has ever felt, maybe it is time to let him in, to finally open up about the torment her life has been since the murder, and to admit that it wasn’t so charmed before growing up with her mother’s illness. She’s had enough playing it safe, if she is meant to fall it may as well be in his arms.
Something is lurking though, and maybe her mother’s paranoia has some basis in reality, maybe Sienna isn’t slipping into a delusional state. But just who would want to kill her, and why?
This novel is just the right blend of mystery, thriller and romance for your winter reading.
Publication Date: January 28, 2019
St. Martin’s Press