When small-town police officers discover the grave of a young boy, they’re quick to pin the crime on a convicted felon who lives nearby. But when it comes to murder, Officer Susan Marlan never trusts a simple explanation, so she’s just getting started.
Meanwhile, college professor Eric Evans hallucinates a young boy in overalls: a symptom of his schizophrenia—or so he thinks. But when more bodies turn up, Eric has more visions, and they mirror details of the murder case. As the investigation continues, the police stick with their original conclusion, but Susan’s instincts tell her something is off. The higher-ups keep stonewalling her, and the FBI’s closing in.
Desperate for answers, Susan goes rogue and turns to Eric for help. Together they take an unorthodox approach to the case as the evidence keeps getting stranger. With Eric’s hallucinations intensifying and the body count rising, can the pair separate truth from illusion long enough to catch a monster?
This book was really good!! When the bones of a young boy are unearthed, the police feel like they already know exactly who committed the murder – which is not super great police work, but in their defense, the body was found near the land of a convicted felon, who had been in jail for his crimes against children. So they thought, slam dunk. Officer Susan Harlan though couldn’t let it rest, just like those bones couldn’t rest.
Eric is new in town, new to that side of the country even, having relocated after a nasty divorce. Eric also has schizophrenia, a usually well-controlled schizophrenia, but knows that the move and the stress of everything may cause triggers. So when he starts to have wild, vivid hallucinations, he chalks it up to that – although, as things begin to change in the investigation, so do his hallucinations. There was one particularly terrifying one that made me wonder if I was going to be able to sleep that night!
Vivian Barz has a note at the end of her book about how she has a friend who has schizophrenia, who had once stated that she wanted to read a book that had a schizophrenic who was not the bad guy. So Barz wrote that book for her (I don’t consider this to be ruining anything, you know right off the bat it can’t be Eric who is the bad guy as he was never even in that state). I really loved this perspective! How many times have we seen schizophrenia be the reason in a book that someone commits a crime? Compare that to the amount of times we have seen someone who has schizophrenia not be the criminal and that is a very very wide gap. I thought this was such a great new portrayal of that particular mental illness, to show another side that we don’t see in media, one where a person has their schizophrenia managed and can hold a job, have a life, etc.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The mystery was intriguing, scary and pulled me along to the end very willingly. If you are looking for a thriller, try this one!
Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.