Relocating to the small town of Brindle to edit the local newspaper seems like a wonderful opportunity for Todd Fielding, despite its lack of nightlife and amenities. Todd and her graduate-student husband, Barney, are tapped out financially, and the job includes rent-free housing--that alone makes it too attractive to pass up.

Soon after Todd's arrival, teenager Jodie Schuster disappears. When Todd attempts to gather facts for a story, the police are uncooperative. The girl's a runaway--case closed. But Todd isn't satisfied with that explanation, and careful digging reveals something more sinister: For two decades, Brindle's young girls have been vanishing. Worse, people don't want to know why, which makes Todd determined to learn the truth, no matter how unpopular her search is.

Wilhelm creates a deliciously terrifying atmosphere that grips the reader the instant Todd sets foot in Brindle. Added to the finely drawn characters and the riveting mystery, it makes for a story that begs to be read in one sitting. (Oct., 368 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer