From the outside, some families appear to be untouchable. No conflicts within could cause ugliness or bitterness; no external force could shatter their assured, confident aura. The world saw the McQuade family through such a prism -- a slice of suburban perfection, a page-from-a-magazine existence for Melanie and Tom McQuade and their two gifted children. But Melanie's sister, documentary filmmaker Lex Cavanaugh, knows that nothing is as it appears; the truth of any picture lies in the eye of the beholder. And soon an unthinkable crime will shake Lex to the core, challenging everything she has known about her estranged family -- and herself.
Lex receives the wrenching news in an urgent e-mail from her nephew, Jared: his ten-year-old sister Calista, a talented gymnast with Olympic potential, has been found murdered. Rushing from her home in London to Melanie's house in exclusive Westport, Connecticut, Lex re-enters a family living out its worst nightmare -- with each of the members cast in the light of suspicion, even among themselves. As the homicide investigation unfolds, a startling, unexpected group portrait reveals itself: Lex's obsessive, controlling sister, her TV-personality brother-in-law, and the intensely unhappy young Jared, in whom Lex sees her childhood self. Sifting through a decade of hidden indiscretions, raw resentments, and buried truths, Lex knows she must unlock the secrets of the past if there is any hope at all for their future.
With a fresh voice and an unsparing eye, Caroline Slate has crafted a literary gem that is at the same time a tense, disarming psychological thriller in the tradition of Jacquelyn Mitchard and Ruth Rendell -- a page-turner that exposes the chilling, entangled secrets which may tear one family apart.