It was twenty years ago, when the murders happened. Six teenagers made their way into the woods at night, perfect fodder for any scary story. Two were found murdered. The other four disappeared like ether into the trees. Now, for Paul Copeland, life has become too much to bear. In addition to mourning the twenty-year loss of his sister, his wife has died of cancer, leaving him stranded, alone, to raise their six year old daughter. The weight on his shoulders is almost too great until a light starts to spark through: a homicide victim, with connections to Copeland's family. All at once his family secrets begin to come unraveled, and he begins to wonder: is this the key to his long-missing sister's death? Will he be reunited with her or will his life continue to spiral out of control? The questions build as quickly as Cope's prosecutor career.
Harlan Coben is an American fiction writer most famous for his crime and suspense stories. He graduated from Princeton in 1999, and decided his senior year of college that he wanted to write for a living. His first novel was published almost immediately, and more followed after that. Since, his career has built into a very successful franchise of both adult and young adult fiction. He has received many literary awards and is lauded as one of America's top mystery writers.
Twenty years ago, four teenagers at summer camp walked into the woods at night. Two were found murdered, and the others were never seen again. Four families had their lives changed forever. Now, two decades later, they are about to change again.
For Paul Copeland, the county prosecutor of Essex, New Jersey, mourning the loss of his sister has only recently begun to subside. Cope, as he is known, is now dealing with raising his six-year-old daughter as a single father after his wife has died of cancer. Balancing family life and a rapidly ascending career as a prosecutor distracts him from his past traumas, but only for so long. When a homicide victim is found with evidence linking him to Cope, the well-buried secrets of the prosecutor’s family are threatened.
Is this homicide victim one of the campers who disappeared with his sister? Could his sister be alive? Cope has to confront so much he left behind that summer twenty years ago: his first love, Lucy; his mother, who abandoned the family; and the secrets that his Russian parents might have been hiding even from their own children. Cope must decide what is better left hidden in the dark and what truths can be brought to the light.
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