Lawyer Abby Williams is heading to the place she promised herself she would never return to: the small town of Banners in Indiana where she grew up. She is going there to start a lawsuit against Optimal, the big water company that gives jobs and money to the whole town but that she suspects is poisoning the town water. Her return brings back memories of her unhappy adolescence as she meets with her God-fearing father and the kids who used to bully her at school and now, as grown-ups, want to become her new friends. Her investigation risks bringing to light much more than water poisoning, but not everyone wants to co-operate and Abby can't help but ask herself: what secrets is the town hiding? And what happened to Kaycee, her once best friend and then tormentor, who suddenly disappeared after graduation?
I'll admit that the principal reason I first started reading this novel is because of its author who I loved in the TV series Jessica Jones, but I was quickly engrossed in this well-written and gripping thriller. There are more trips down memory lane than actual present action and the author does a great job in using Abby's memories to develop the characters, some of which seem to come straight out of a Stephen King's novel for their twisted psychology. Set in a small town that nobody wants to leave and where everyone appears to be a villain, this is a compelling and twisty novel that, although sometimes it seems to drag along, will keep you nevertheless hooked. (NP)