I'll Be Watching You

Mira: Harlequin. Mar. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9780778351290. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488088650. SUSPENSE
OrangeReviewStarTate (Such Dark Things) is a pseudonym for best-selling author Courtney Cole, with this alter ego aiming for darker fare than Cole's romances (Until We Fly; My Peace)—a feat easily accomplished by this combination of nightmare and mystery. The protagonist is Emmy Fisher, the hardworking owner of a Florida inn. Her daughter, Leah, seems to be a normal teen—fun-loving, absorbed with friends—and Emmy believes that all is right in Leah's innocent world. That turns out to be very wrong, however, when Leah goes missing and Emmy discovers the girl's shocking online diary, which reveals she was involved in a sexual relationship with a much older man—one of several the girl knew. Readers will be rapt as they race to discover the culprit, but along the way they will find an authentic, absorbing story of love, friendship, and grief. The pedophilia aspect is treated carefully; Leah's grooming by the man is chilling and realistic, and he is never portrayed sympathetically.
VERDICT A must for mystery shelves.

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