Author: Laura McNeill
Published: April 2016, Thomas Nelson
Format: Paperback, 400 pages
Source: Author / Netgalley
All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?
Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.
But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.
As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.
My thoughts: This is Laura McNeill's second novel and it was every bit as good as her debut novel, Center of Gravity. Once again Laura has created a book that pulls you in from the very beginning and doesn't let up until you reach the end.
This is such a twisted tale that gets under your skin. I found myself flying through the pages, desperate to know how everything was going to turn out...I love these kinds of books and boy oh boy does Laura McNeill deliver! Once I started reading, nothing else got done and I couldn't think about anything but this book. In fact, I'm still thinking about it, the plot line and the characters and the way everything came together in the end.
I loved the characters in this book - everyone was so richly drawn and developed. And I loved that the story was told from multiple points of view - this really allowed us as the reader to understand all the emotions that come with everything that happens, to feel and internalize their struggles. At times it was easy to be sympathetic with a character on one page and then feel absolute hatred for them on the next - that's how well these characters are written. You just end up having a range of feelings for all the characters throughout the book.
This story goes back and forth from the present and the past to slowly fill in all the details of what really happened that night ten years ago. Ever so slowly we are drip-fed details that had me suspicious of nearly everyone. It's so cleverly done and as all the pieces come together, you realize there are no threads left hanging. Every detail we are given, no matter how small, factors in somehow.
I did not want this book to end and will definitely be rereading it just to take it all in again...and I don't often do that. But this book is just so good, so twisty, so clever that it deserves to be read and reread. Laura McNeill is definitely an author that is not to be missed and I cannot wait to see what comes next from her!!!