Returning to her hometown isn't easy for Grace Montgomery. Stillwater holds terrible memories for her, and the townspeople are still whispering about her stepfather's disappearance -- murder? -- 18 years ago.

But the successful life and career as an assistant district attorney that Grace has built elsewhere are crumbling, and she believes that the only way to save her future is to face her past -- which includes dealing with her feelings for mayoral candidate Kennedy Archer, the golden boy Grace always wanted but couldn't have. That hasn't really changed. A single dad, he's still mourning his late wife, and even though Grace has now achieved a certain level of respectability, tongues still wag when they're seen together.

Grace's journey is harrowing and deeply involving, and despite the lack of a mystery in the classic sense, Novak keeps the reader guessing about what actually happened until the bitter end. (Aug., 416 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer