Emily Parker is summering at her mother's cottage on Cape Cod with her three children. Then one day she doesn't return from a quick trip to the grocery store. Local police don't seem to feel a sense of urgency to find her.

Enter Dr. John Geary, a former FBI agent who's writing a book about persons that have disappeared over the years. When Geary teams up with fledgling detective Amy Cardoza, he shows her files detailing a pattern of disappearances that have taken place over almost a 30-year period. Every seven years, on September 3, a killer abducts a mother, and five days later, abducts her 7-year-old son. Some of the mothers are later found alive, but the children are always discovered dead, and often only a body part is found.

In this fast-paced race against time, law enforcement officials attempt to locate the killer using evidence from eyewitnesses who saw Emily shortly before she disappeared, as Will tries desperately to keep his three children safe, especially 7-year-old Sam. Eerie and chilling, Pepper's novel is impossible to put down until the serial killer is finally identified, and all the doors are locked. (Jul., 320 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick