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Sure to thrill readers of Jenny Milchman, Linda Castillo, and Lisa Gardner, The Girls She Left Behind marks the return of ex–Boston homicide detective Lizzie Snow, the new sheriff’s deputy in Maine’s Great North Woods.
For Lizzie Snow, the ice and snow of her first punishing North Woods winter are dreadful enough. But near the small town of Bearkill a stubborn forest fire now rages out of control, and as embers swirl dangerously in the smoke-filled air, a teenage girl with a history of running away has dropped out of sight again. The locals and the law both think Tara Wylie is up to her old tricks—until her mother receives a terrifying text message.
Equally disturbing: Henry Gemerle—a kidnapper and rapist who once held three girls prisoner for fifteen years—has escaped, and may be lurking in Bearkill. As the fire closes in, Lizzie teams up with her boss, Sheriff Cody Chevrier, and state cop Dylan Hudson to search for the missing girl and the wily fugitive. But they’re blocked by Tara’s mother, a frustrating teller of needless lies and keeper of dark, incomprehensible secrets.
Following a trail of grisly clues—a bloodstained motel room, a makeshift coffin in a shallow grave—Lizzie is drawn ever closer to the flames in her race to save an innocent and corner a monster. Someone else also wants to find Tara Wylie and Henry Gemerle, though, for reasons that have nothing to do with mercy or justice. And when they all meet, the inferno threatening Bearkill will pale in comparison to the hell that’s about to break loose.
Praise for The Girls She Left Behind
“[Sarah] Graves writes at full strength when she’s focused on this economically depressed region, once the hub of a thriving lumber industry but now mostly the domain of meth cooks, unhappy teenagers and scores of volunteer firefighters battling tenacious blazes in the surrounding forest. . . . [A] rugged landscape with its down-to-earth characters.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
“Graves is firing on all cylinders. Lizzie Snow is a dynamic protagonist, just the right blend of capable and flawed. The fictional town of Bearkill is definitely coming into its own—the richness of the backdrop seems destined only to increase. And Graves has spent years demonstrating an ability to construct textured, nuanced mysteries. Put it all together and The Girls She Left Behind is another worthwhile entry in this series.”—The Maine Edge