For fans of the eerie and unusual, Roxanne Conrad delivers a chilling and disturbing tale that is bound to send shivers up your spine. Yet the structure and tone of this novel make it a bit difficult to completely connect with the various characters.

Still settling into Midland, TX, Abby Rhodes is not seeing anyone seriously. Then her dog Carlton runs away. For some reason Carlton trots miles to the town of Fall Creek, where glass artisan John Lee Jordan finds him. The poor dog has worn the pads down on his paws, so John Lee bandages him and drives him home to Abby. Abby and John are immediately drawn to each other. Their relationship begins hot and heavy and Abby knows she is falling in love.

Abby has an odd feeling when John mentions his mother Pearl Jordan. She inexplicably knows that Pearl is a fake. Abbie is convinced the real Pearl was murdered by the impostor.

The Jordan family has been touched by violence and murder before. Thirty years ago, homicidal maniac Custer Grady murdered at least four people and raped and beat Pearl nearly to death. After 30 years in prison, Grady is free and Fall Creek is his first destination.

(July, 352 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith