Elizabeth Goodweather has lived in the mountain community of Ridley Branch, North Carolina, for over 20 years. When her friend's son, Cletus, is found dead, Elizabeth believes that he may have been murdered.

With the help of Phillip Hawkins, a detective friend of her deceased husband, Elizabeth tries to unravel the mystery behind Cletus' death. Soon, she begins to receive threatening messages. It turns out there are powerful forces at work in these normally quiet mountains—an extremist paramilitary group and a hippie commune have both claimed parcels of land. With the discovery of another body, Elizabeth begins to fear for herself and her grown daughter, Laurel, who is visiting. Can she find the killer before the next victim is claimed?

Lane's novel is enticingly rich with evocative depictions of the beauty found in the mountains of North Carolina. The lush scenery provides the perfect background for this page-turning novel. A parallel tale surrounding a young woman's mysterious disappearance a century ago provides additional drama to the present-day plot. (Jun., 400 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick