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New York Daily News Top New Thriller Novel, Publishers Weekly Best New Books, and Suspense Magazine's Best Books of 2012
A shattering new thriller about three women on a heart-wrenching collision course.
Long after anyone expected Kate to do anything with her life, she did. Using the journals left behind by her aunt and grandmother, she wrote a novel based on a very real generation-old love story that ended in tragedy. On the other side of town, Emily is about to set fire to her life. She's in a dead-end job and is involved with the wrong man; she can feel herself being drawn into darkness, with horrific consequences. With nowhere to go, she finds herself on the run. Without knowing each other, and with lives that couldn't be more different, Kate and Emily head to the same point on the map: Heart Island, an idyllic place in the middle of a lake in the Adirondacks, owned for generations by Birdie Burke's family. The harsh and unyielding Birdie is at one with this island, which has a terrifying history all its own. She, too, has consequences to face.
Sitting in the gazebo, Birdie remembered what it was like to be a child on Heart Island, before all the anger and bitterness between her and her siblings had erupted and then cooled and hardened. She remembered what it was like to play pretend or read, to nap in the hammock or gaze at the stars, to just be in this place that asked nothing but your presence. In a way, she’d spent her whole life trying to find her way back to her memory of it. But she wondered if that memory was, as Kate said, a
stuffing suitcases to the brim, arguing about what could come and what must stay. By Sunday morning, they’d be in the car, heading north. She tried to remember what it was like to be excited about a trip the way she was when she was younger, like Brendan. But she couldn’t remember. All she really felt was dread. It came to nothing. Chelsea was giddy at first, as she drank her strawberry banana smoothie, just wondering if he’d come, and if he’d be as cute as his picture. Sometimes it seemed like
house that had been built there, its brown-shingled roof peeking through the trees, its windows glinting pink in the morning light. She didn’t like it. It felt like an intrusion. Plus, the island itself held bad memories for her. Most often she ignored it, pretended it wasn’t there, as she did with many of the things that pained her. She glanced back the way she had come, then to the north, where she could see the main house. From the dock, a narrow gravel path led up to the main structure, then
and closed her eyes. She hadn’t seen what Chelsea had glimpsed on the dock. But the look on her friend’s face was enough to scare her. Lulu had been spooked ever since, jumping at every little noise, even though she’d just been making fun of Chelsea for believing in ghosts. There was something about this place. The quiet was oppressive. When she couldn’t get cell service, it felt malicious, like the island wanted them to be disconnected. She almost said it out loud. But she could just hear
She remembered the kiss, that passionate movie-star kiss. In some ways, all her life, she’d been waiting for a kiss like that. With Joe, she’d never had anything like it. And now she never would. You had to be a certain kind of person to give and receive so much heat. She knew that she wasn’t that kind of woman, lusty and wanton. She was narrow, hard to the touch, not soft and yielding. Her lips were thin, as though designed only to deliver hard words, reprimands, and complaints. She was nothing