Master storyteller Gardner really outdoes herself with her latest puzzler. Since the story is told from the vantage point of various main characters, exactly what's going on remains cleverly shrouded. All of the characters have secrets and scars on their souls, and it's what they do in a crisis that makes this an intensely thought-provoking and somewhat creepy novel. Pure Gardner genius!
Reporter Jason Jones comes home in the middle of the night to discover his 4-year-old daughter Ree home alone. His wife Sandy and their cat are missing. Sergeant D.D. Warren is suspicious of this secretive household and tags the husband as the prime suspect. But a registered sex offender lives just doors down, so he could be involved.
Little Ree saw something, but her protective father seems to be trying to stymie the investigation. Nothing about this case or the people involved quite adds up. Like an onion, it can only be unraveled layer by gripping layer. (BANTAM, Jun., 369 pp., $25.00)