Salt-of-the-earth characters form the life-breathing force in this emotionally charged novel. Kate is easy to identify with, as her ability to see good amid the tragedies in her life is the only thing holding her together. John's wounded heart and cynicism are the perfect foible for Kate's tenacity. The emotionally conflicting relationship between John and Kate, combined with a suspenseful search for a missing sibling, form the foundation that may possibly be Rice's best work to date.

While lodging at the East Wind Inn in Silver Bay, Kate Harris is trying to follow the path her sister Willa took six months ago.

After an explosive confrontation between the two sisters at Kate's apartment, Willa traveled north to New England to sort out her feelings. The last postcard she sent Kate, half a year ago, pictured a lighthouse at Silver Bay.

Forced to face her deepest fears, Kate consults with John O'Rourke, defense attorney for serial killer Greg Merrill; she hopes John will know if his client has information on her sister.

As John and Kate learn to trust one another, their own secrets are unveiled.

(Feb., 319 pp., $22.95)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick