“Tallo’s visually descriptive style makes every scene of her dark mystery unfold like a perfectly crafted movie. We were pretty much biting our lip waiting to find out if Gus would crack the case or if the powerful, malevolent forces standing in her way would prevail.”
Apple Books Review (Best Books of the Month)

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“Anyone … will appreciate the singular grotesqueness that manifests itself in the closing chapters, which culminate in a frightening, yet moving, conclusion. Highly recommended for mystery fans, as well as devotees of Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro.”
Booklist Starred Review

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Synopsis

Augusta (Gus) Monet is living an aimless existence with her grifter boyfriend when her great grandmother dies. Ditching her boyfriend, Gus returns home. Her inheritance turns out to be a dilapidated house and an old dog named Levi. While combing through her great grandmother’s possessions, Gus stumbles across an old trunk filled with long-lost childhood belongings, as well as cold case files that belonged to her mother, a disgraced police detective who died in a car accident when Gus was eight—documents and photographs she remembers her mother obsessing over. Determined to finish her mother’s investigation, Gus’s search leads her to a ghost town, abandoned when the residents fled after a horrific fire. As her obsession with the case grows, Gus inadvertently stirs up the evils of the past, putting her life in danger. Undeterred, she pushes forward towards the truth that culminated on one terrible August night, more than a decade earlier, when lives were taken, and secrets were presumed buried forever.

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