Ethan Ford is a pillar of the community and still madly in love with his wife after 13 years together and their son, Collie, is a calm, happy teen. But in Ethan’s past is a massive secret that’s about to come out: he used to go by another name in and committed a horrible rape and murder.
Collie’s best friend, Kat, lost her father to suicide a year before, and is the one who identifies Ethan as the man being searched for by police. She calls in to identify him, but struggles to live with trying to do what’s right and how the truth can destroy people.
The book is not just about the crime, but how the truth of who Ethan really is effects the people who love him, from his family and friends to the whole of the small community. In Kat’s story, we see how doing the right thing can hurt people, like her father killing himself rather than suffering through terminal illness, or her revealing Ethan’s identity, but also that forgiveness is important too, both of yourself and others.
It’s a beautiful and tragic book, with Hoffman’s usual lyrical, magical writing style, and small town setting. Hooking you in from the first word, the book feels like a small town love story, but is so much more.
Read it if: you like crime novels or stories about community. It’s another beautiful work from Hoffman, one of her finest.