This tale of deceit and suspense is written in the first-person voice of Merilee Graf, who recalls stunning events in her past. In 1988, at the age of 10, Merilee's classmate Lilac Jimson mysteriously disappeared.

Lilac's bizarre disappearance still haunts Merilee who, as an adult, returns home to stand vigil at her father's bedside. She encounters Lilac's adult siblings and remembers her cold, aloof mother and her ever-absent father. When tragic circumstances arise, Merilee suddenly becomes an heiress and must re-evaluate her estranged relationship with eccentric Uncle Jedah.

Dark and suspenseful, Kelly's latest is as much mystery as it is a psychological thriller. As the novel explores Lilac's possible abduction, it simultaneously highlights the troubled family life that led to Merilee's adult battle with alcoholism. Intense intrigue surrounds her efforts to piece together the puzzle of Lilac's disappearance, leading to a climactic but somewhat abrupt conclusion. (Jun., 240 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick