Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published: October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (1st published 2007)
Thirty years ago, Sunny and Heather Bethany disappeared from a shopping mall. The two girls were never seen again, their bodies weren’t found, and the investigative trail ran cold. A woman has just been apprehended for a hit-and-run, and she claims to be Heather, one of the long-lost sisters. Investigators are sure she’s lying, and she’s driving them crazy with her manipulations and evasions.
Our intrepid detectives, including Kevin Infante and Nancy Porter, work toward unraveling the mystery woman’s story. Meanwhile, alternating chapters explore the Bethanys’ lives 30 years ago, what happened the day the girls vanished, and their parents’ lives after their daughters’ disappearance.
This book is riveting, in part, because of the author’s careful attention to the Bethanys’ tenuous survival after losing their children. I found the story intense and surprisingly emotional.
The complex plot is also engrossing. I guessed the main “twist” early on — Lippman abides by the rules of fair play by strewing subtle clues along the way — and I was eager to see whether I was right and exactly how it would unfold. And as always, the novel stands out for Lippman’s patient character development and rich exploration of the complexities of human relationships.