Fast-paced and absorbing, this one will keep readers turning pages far into the night.A strong plot, a pair of well-written characters and a genuinely spooky atmosphere add up to yet another sterling effort from Harper.

Jess Lockwood is shocked by a call from the sheriff of her hometown, Deep Down, Ky., informing her that her mother, Mariah, is missing. The news is particularly hard because the man who made that call, Drew Webb, is Jess's ex-lover.

When it comes to light that Mariah was counting sang -- the endangered wild ginseng found in the woods surrounding the town -- at the time that she disappeared, there may have been foul play involved. Several suspects come to light even before Mariah's fate is known, all related in some way to the rare plant.

Jess and Drew are determined to learn the truth, even though it's increasingly obvious that danger lurks in Deep Down.

(MIRA, Jun., 400 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer