Release Date: June 21, 2012
Buying Links: (Ebook only) Amazon Barnes & Noble PublishingWorks, Inc.
Book Blurb (from goodreads):
This is a gripping, complex story. On the surface, it seems like a story we might hear in the news. Unlike the news shows or many news web sites, the novel format allows us to go behind the headline to the truth of the story. Seidel actually tells two stories: one about Paul, the murder suspect, and one about Lisa, the psychologist examining him, and weaves them together. There are parallels between Lisa's life and the life of Paul's friend Wendy. Those parallels are painfully obvious to Lisa as she works with Paul and they open up a part of her life that she's tried to push aside and forget about.
Both stories, Lisa's and Paul's, are told in the third person. Paul is talking to Lisa, relaying events from his life leading up to his friend Lee's death, but it's told in third person. That allows for a bit more detail than we might get otherwise, but it actually lessens Paul's voice. Although he's the one relaying his story, it often sounds like an adult talking and not a troubled teenage boy. Still, we see that Paul is naive, a loner, and somewhat idealistic. While he seems to have a good grasp of Lee's behavioral problems, he is clueless about both Lee and Wendy's motivations and emotions, and he places Wendy on a pedestal. As their lives collide and events begin to spiral, Paul struggles with doing what's right and trying to reconcile the inconsistencies in people's behavior and their words.
Lisa has her own psychology practice, working with adolescents. She's contacted by a former co-worker of her late husband, who is Paul's defense lawyer. She agrees to meet with Paul, a decision she comes to question, especially when the media puts her under their microscope and begins spreading false stories about her. She comes close several times to walking away from the case but convinces herself to stay every time. Additionally, she's dealing with her feelings for Rudy, Paul's lawyer; her painful past; and the person stalking her. She's emotionally closed off in some respects but also compassionate, smart, and occasionally impulsive.
I figured out Wendy's secret early on but it took me longer to see who killed Lee and why. I also figured out who was after Lisa, but there were some twists along the way. I started this book, and could hardly put it down. I read most of it in one sitting and stayed up until 2:30AM reading it. I was sucked in from the beginning. Seidel's style is spare, he delivers just enough detail to fill in the blanks and trusts the reader to fill in the rest. The story moved at an even pace, the characters were fleshed out felt real, and there's even a happy ending. Seidel's tone is unsentimental and clear eyed, his characters are flawed but not unrealistically so and he knows how to hold your attention. The story is not only a murder mystery but a psychological look at the story's main characters. It's not a light read, but it is a good one.
To read excerpts from the book, and follow Spencer's blog tour, go here: http://booktrib.com/?page_id=
I received an ARC for review.