‘What would you do if you found a dead body?’
Rachel Caldwell is walking her dog Brandy near her home in the British Lakes District, when she sees a dead body. Her instinct is to run, to get away from the scene, to not be involved. Because last time she saw a dead body, she was accused of murder. The victim is quickly identified as Anna, the estranged wife of Rachel’s boyfriend, Alex… which makes Rachel a suspect. And very quickly, quite a bit of evidence points to Rachel, and the fact that she is reluctant to share information with the police just heightens their suspicions.
Rachel has a secret. Twenty years earlier, as a nineteen-year-old named Casey, she travelled from the UK to Los Angeles to work as a nanny while seeking her big break as an actor. When three members of the Safran family were brutally murdered, Casey was found guilty and sentenced to death. Freed some years later, exonerated on appeal, she returned to the UK, married, and changed her name.
And now, Rachel wants to keep her past secret because who will believe that she didn’t murder Anna? Although Rachel was exonerated, there are plenty of people who still believe that she was guilty of murdering the Safrans.
Rachel does her own investigating, desperate to prove she is innocent. The more she searches, the more she wonders whether she is being set up. But by whom, and why? It becomes clear that someone knows about Rachel’s past.
Slowly small pieces of information are fed into the story, providing the reader with other possibilities to consider. The story shifts between Rachel in the present and Casey in the past: who murdered Anna, and exactly what happened in the Safran home 20 years ago? I figured out parts of the puzzle but couldn’t be completely sure until all was revealed at the end.
An engrossing read.
Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.