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From Lauren Kelly, "a writer of formidable talent" (Scott Turow), comes the page-turning story of Merilee Graf, whose past and present mysteries converge in a revelation too painful, and too shocking, for her to accept.
Sixteen years ago, a vivacious fifth-grade classmate of Merilee Graf was abducted from a park in Mt. Olive, New York. Haunted by the memory of the eleven-year-old "gypsy-looking" girl whose disappearance has never been explained, Merilee returns home to keep a vigil at the bedside of her dying father, a prosperous importer of exotic goods and a former, popular mayor of the upstate New York town on the Chautauqua River. After Mr. Graf's death, Merilee finds herself an "heiress" in more ways than one as she becomes involved, with both dread and fascination, with two very different men from her Mt. Olive past -- the elusive older brother of her missing classmate and her own seductive "Uncle Jedah," executor of her father's estate. Past and present mysteries converge in a revelation too painful, and too shocking, for Merilee to accept, and in a sudden act of reckless courage she frees herself of the terrifying obsessions of the past.
Awealthy, charismatic, and controversial "benefactress of art," Drewe Hildebrand disappears from her estate on the Hudson River, seemingly abducted in the night. Her young niece, Marta, found in a desolate wooded area close by, is too traumatized to describe the abductors. A provocative exhibit of avant-garde "bio-art" that includes a blood mask of Drewe Hildebrand is disrupted by protestors.
In this, her third suspense novel, Lauren Kelly explores the startling world of "bio-artists" and their admirers, examining the intermingling of private, inscrutable motives with public masks of dominance and power; the ways in which spiritual yearnings may be transformed into worldly, erotic appetites that consume the innocent.
Lauren Kelly, with amazing power and authority, explores the secret kinship of "soul mates," in a mysterious and demonic love story.
Lara Quade, a disaffected intellectual associated with a prominent Princeton research center, is a young woman whose physical beauty has been scarred in a childhood accident. She is jarred out of the routine of her life by a seemingly chance meeting with a young man named Zedrick Dewe, whom she seems to know somehow as he in turn seems to know her. What is the connection between them? Who has brought them together? And why are they drawn so powerfully to one another? Their encounter leads to a highly charged erotic experience that takes an abrupt turn from tender to violent, predictable to terrifying. And from this initial episode springs a sequence of inexplicable events and revelations so shocking that they lead Lara, long in denial about her life, to uncover the truth about the buried hurt and rage in the tortured past of her family.