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In this tension-filled suspense novel from Kelly (The Dark Rose), when the members of the MacBride family gather in Devon to scatter the ashes of wife, mother, grandmother, and magistrate Lydia, after her agonizing death from cancer, it becomes clear that all is not well. The usually sober father-retired headmaster Rowan-is unaccountably drunk; daughter Sophie and son-in-law Will may have reached an impasse because of an affair and a breakdown; mixed-race grandson Jake has been in trouble with the law; and disfigured son Felix has a beautiful new girlfriend whose initial silence unsettles everyone. The disappearance of baby Edie, cryptic excerpts from Lydia's diaries, and the narrative of an individual perhaps wronged by the MacBrides indicate that family secrets can have far-reaching implications. While a bigger payoff regarding Lydia and Rowan's actions would have been welcome, skillfully drawn characters and masterful building of suspense, which reaches a literally searing climax, will leave most readers well satisfied. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* The MacBride family has only known privilege and success father Rowan is headmaster at the elite Saxby School, matriarch Lydia is a respected magistrate, and their grown children have been afforded the luxury of being able to do as they please in life. When Lydia dies from cancer, a sinister chill takes over the family, and not just because they are in mourning Darcy, a mysterious figure from their past, has decided to exact revenge against the entire clan. Born in poverty to a deranged mother, Darcy was denied a scholarship to Saxby and has vowed revenge on the MacBrides, holding them responsible for every little thing that's gone wrong since then. As the family gathers at their rural vacation home to spread Lydia's ashes, they are unaware that their tormentor has put mechanisms in place to bring them down one by one. As with her previous psychological thrillers, Kelly (The Dark Rose, 2011) shows a knack for creating realistic, creepy characters that make readers squirm. Fans of Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Ruth Rendell will be lining up to read this one.--Vnuk, Rebecca Copyright 2010 Booklist