Alternating between past and present, Swanson's newest domestic psychological thriller is a standout in the genre which seems to be increasingly popular as of late.
Harry Ackerson is set to graduate from college when he receives word from his stepmother, Alice, that his father has died in what appears to be a suicide. Devastated, Harry skips his graduation ceremony and travels to his late father's home in Maine.
Harry and Alice lean on one another to pick up the pieces after such a monumental loss. For Harry, things start to become uncomfortable and awkward with Alice—he has always considered her attractive, and she has been nothing short of kind to him. Alice is also 15 years younger than his father was.
A mysterious young woman named Grace makes Harry's acquaintance shortly after he arrives. She claims to be new to the area, but she was at Harry's father's funeral. Things aren't adding up, and Grace seems to know more than she is letting on. Grace is not the only woman with interest in Harry, Alice is also growing closer and ends up seducing him. The more involved Harry gets to with these women, the more he realizes that he doesn't know them at all. Both women are hiding secrets and the truth about who they really are. Things are not what they appear, including his father's death which is now looking like murder.
Swanson excels at character development and this novel is no exception. He has a gift for writing characters that are boarder on being psychotic, yet believable. There is a cleverness and preciseness to Swanson's storytelling without being overly dark. With just enough plot twists, the story is not predicable or confusing. If you like psychological thrillers, I encourage you to pick up this, or any of Peter Swanson's other books.