Returning home to the snug offshore community of Gray's Island, Washington, after nine years in prison for the attempted murder of the drunk driver who killed her son, Alice Kessler finds that much has changed. For one thing, her intended victim, Owen Wilson, now confined to a wheelchair, has been elected mayor and uses his infirmity to great political advantage: blackmailing police and court officials, green-lighting controversial property developments, and mercilessly intimidating anyone who dares oppose him. Wanting only to lead a quiet life so she can rebuild a relationship with her surviving son, Jeremy, Alice quickly discovers the depths of Wilson's need for revenge when Jeremy is falsely accused of rape. Desperate to clear Jeremy's name, Alice must rely on one of the few people brave enough to stand up to Wilson, recovering alcoholic and former Manhattan district attorney Colin McGinty. He has come to Gray's Island still mourning his wife, who was killed on 9/11, and finds strength in Alice's fierce determination to save her son and put her past behind her. Goudge's skillful storytelling slyly juxtaposes bucolic imagery and congenial, if not particularly complex, characters with an incisively sinister, often surprising tale of secrets kept and promises broken.
** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**