It's been four long years since college student Avery Callahan went missing, leaving a host of unanswered questions behind her on a lonely stretch of road in upstate New York. In the space of just eighteen minutes—between the moment Avery was last seen, and when police found her abandoned vehicle—the area's most curious cold case was born.
Time has passed, but there's still nothing to go on—no leads, no evidence, and no trace of the missing woman. Even her family's steadfast hope is wearing thin, and in what could amount to a final attempt to learn the truth, former NYPD detective John Starett is hired to take another look at a case that has made its way to the bottom of everyone else's pile.
Starett isn’t stupid. He knows that if the police couldn’t find Avery then, he is unlikely to find her now. But since he’d otherwise spend his days dwelling on how he left the NYPD to make his wife happy—the success of which can currently be measured in alimony payments—this case seems as good as any.
Despite low expectations all around, Starett soon finds himself drawn into the inscrutable mystery of Avery’s disappearance. As he chips away at the assumptions and secrets clouding Avery’s life even before she vanished, the cold case begins to thaw. But as it does, Starett begins to suspect that the people closest to Avery might be more interested in protecting themselves than in helping to find her.
From small towns to the big city, from private lives to public scandals, only one thing about Avery is certain: the way her story unfolds will change everything.
About Kristen Valentine
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Published March 24, 2013
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Literature & Fiction.