In her blockbuster first novel, Guilt by Association, Susan R. Sloan not only penned a story filled with suspense and psychological insight, but, through the telling of one woman's searing personal odyssey, dramatised one of the most important social issues on the American scene. Now, in her latest work, Sloan again jolts readers with her inimitable sense of suspense to expose the vulnerable heart of the American psyche...
With its towering evergreens and breathtaking mountain views, Seward Island is a lovely, quiet community in the heart of Puget Sound. But while a rustic sign welcomes travellers with the motto "A good place to visit——a great place to raise a family,: Seward has suffered an inexplicable tragedy. A fifteen-year-old girl from the Island's most prominent family has been found brutally slain.
It is a case that turns Seward into a place of suspicion, innuendo, rumour, and fear. And it is a case that will start longtime resident Ginger Earley, a young, earnest detective, on a complex journey that will challenge her professionalism and her conscience.
For Ginger and the police department, led by Ruben Martinez a battle-weary, Mexican-born chief, the murder is baffling and frustrating. After months of exploring the life and death of Tara Breckenridge, Ginger and Ruben finally get what they need most: a suspect. He is an outspoken, liberal high school teacher who came to Seward from the East. He is also——and this is rare for Seward——a Jew.
While building the case against Jerry Frankel, Ginger begins a relationship with Ruben that is at once forbidden and exhilarating. And as her personal life collides with her job as a detective, Ginger begins to have serious doubts about the work she is doing on the Breckenridge murder. Is she the heroine of Seward Island——or part of a terrible rush to judgement? What is more important: to follow the explicit and implicit rules of a police officer or to obey the dictates of conscience she feels as a human being? And when and how does a community gather so much momentum against one man that the truth can be totally obscured?