by French, Nicci

When her young daughter returns from her ex's house with a violent crayon drawing and the words "He did kill her," Tess searches for the truth, which sets off an explosive chain of events where more than one life may be at stake. 30,000 first printing.

The English writing team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French delivers another well-plotted winner after What to Do When Someone Dies (2021). Tess is fraught with anxiety when her daughter, Poppy, returns from a visit with her father tired and withdrawn. She begins wetting the bed, acts out viciously at school, massacres her beloved doll, and makes a drawing in black crayon that leads Tess to assume that the girl has witnessed something bad. Perhaps a suicide, or a murder. The police are totally dismissive, and Tess' ex tells her that she is the problem, unable to accept that he is happily settled in with a new, pregnant wife. Tess seeks professional help, but a Fellini-like moment in a café with a young woman sets her off again, and she relentlessly pursues the truth at great risk to her relationships with everyone around her, and to herself. A focused first-person narrative moves the harrowing tale along quickly. There are a few unanswered questions at the end, but fans will devour it nonetheless. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

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