Yesterday I was unlucky enough – or should that be lucky enough – to be unwell (not at death’s door I hasten to add) so I took the opportunity of a day off work to read this book in almost one go. I only put it down to nap. Wow what a read! What started out as a routine murder-suicide became something very sinister and terrifying in small town ‘Bartonville’, Oregon. Not exactly the murder capital of the US.

The Bartons live in a crumbling mansion. Two sisters Emily and Madison and three eccentric aunts who always wear the same colour jumpers as each other on a given day. There were three sisters but twenty years ago their father was found murdered and hanged from a tree. 10 year old Emily saw him swinging from the tree and also saw older sister Tara running away. Tara swore she was at a friend’s all night and wasn’t there. A few days later their mother committed suicide and sister Tara disappeared. They never heard from her again. The killer was caught and brought to justice.

Back to today. Emily’s family own the diner in the town where everyone meets and eats. On this fateful morning waitress Lyndsay fails to turn up for work so Emily goes to check she’s OK. What she finds is a gruesome discovery. Lyndsay has been stabbed to death and her husband Sean is hanging from a tree outside. For Emily the shock of another hanging is overwhelming.

Enter Zander and Ava from the FBI. And that’s all I’m going to say about the plot! Why the FBI you ask? Well that’s for me to know and you to find out. Utterly compelling, this is an intricately woven tale of murder, secrets, race, hatred and romance. I just loved it.

Thanks to NetGalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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