Janet Manning has been haunted by the murder since the day she lost sight of her four-year-old brother in the park. Read more...
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Janet Manning has been haunted by the murder since the day she lost sight of her four-year-old brother in the park. Now, with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Justin's death looming, a detective and a newspaper reporter have started to ask questions, opening old wounds and raising new suspicions. Could the man convicted of the murder--who spent more than two decades in prison--really be innocent?
Janet's childhood friend and high school crush, who was in the park with her that day, has returned to Dove Point, where he is wrestling with his own conflicted memories of the events. And a strange man appears at Janet's door in the middle of the night, claiming to know the truth.
Soon, years of deceit will be swept away, and the truth about what happened to Janet's brother will be revealed. And the answers that Janet has sought may be found much closer to home than she ever could have imagined.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-13
- Reviewer: Staff
Bell follows his 2011 debut, Cemetery Girl, with an artfully constructed tale that charts the devastating, life-changing effects over 25 years on the people most affected by the murder of a four-year-old boy, Justin Manning, in Dove Point, Ohio. Justin’s sister, Janet, and playmate Michael Bower, then seven-year-olds, were supposed to look after Justin in the park where he disappeared. A 17-year-old black boy, Dante Rogers, was arrested for the crime, tried as an adult, and served 22 years in prison. When the local newspaper revisits the killing, so perforce do Janet; her father, Bill Manning; her 15-year-old daughter, Ashleigh; and Det. Frank Stynes, who was part of the original investigation. Bower’s return to Dove Point and a stranger hinting at new knowledge about Justin’s death prove to be catalysts for a total re-examination. The quiet dignity of Rogers, the secrets the Mannings buried with Justin, and the conscience-clearing efforts of Stynes make for a powerful, provocative novel. Agent: Laney Katz Becker, Markson Thoma Literary. (Oct.)