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Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Reviewer: Lindi Obose
Long, wordy, uninteresting and full of characters, is how I found this book.
Anyway, the story is about young lovers, Dylan Merserve and Michaela Brand, who attend the same school.
One day they vanish on their way home from a rehearsal and they are found "terrified" three days later in the mountains of Malibu.
The two claimed they were abducted at gunpoint. They said during their abduction they were assaulted and their attacker denied them food for two days.
But later, the abduction story is denied by a hardware store clerk who read the abduction story in a newspaper. The clerk reveals he saw the two at his shop where they stockpiled food before the alleged abduction. The clerk proves his story through video images of a camera installed at the store.
The final blow to their story was brought by the results of electrolyte tests conducted on them by physicians.
The results of the tests proved that the two lied about not eating for two days. Faced with the evidence, the couple broke down and admitted they had lied.
The aspiring actors who faced criminal charges said they made up the story because they had emotional problems. In this way they fortunately managed to escape a prison sentence when the court ordered them to be psychologically evaluated.
Brand is examined by Alex Delaware, a psychologist who finds that her claims of depression and stress are true.
But the story does not end there. Brand is found murdered and Merserve goes missing and that makes him the suspect.
Milo Sturgis, a homicide cop, and Delaware team up to get to the bottom of the case. Their search for the truth takes them to dark and dangerous places.
During the investigation Delaware and Sturgis discover that the murder is just the tip of an iceberg.
Their investigations reveal that the murderer might have killed more than one person.
Their suspicions are proven right when a witness provides them with information that is key to resolving the matter.
While the murderer's identity might not be that surprising, the author's ability to convey the unrelenting sadness of his characters' lives and his deep psychological insights will satisfy those readers looking for more than just mere thrills.