From the publisher: The discovery of a submerged car in a murky pond reveals betrayals and family secrets that will tear a small town apart.
The Death of Us has a great premise. A man cheats on his young wife, and the woman he slept with has a baby. One night, his wife answers the door, and the other woman hands the wife the baby and promptly disappears. Although fifteen years pass for the characters, the mystery of her disappearance is solved quickly in the book. A submerged car is found in an old flooded quarry on the family property. Inside is a baby carrier and some bones.
The husband and wife are now separated, as his ability to stay faithful hasn’t improved. They’ve been raising the child that was left behind together. Liss, the wife, loves her stepson fiercely. Because of the unknown status of his birth mother, Liss has never formally adopted Callan, but she IS his mother. Her husband Link is a man-child, spoiled by his mother, but Liss has broken things off with a man who loves her to try to salvage her damaged marriage.
The Death of Us is a great, fast read. The character development is good – I liked and sympathized with Liss and felt sorry for the teenager who is not quite sure how to handle his emotions when his missing mother is discovered. The marshal investigating the discovery is Liss’s recent lover; the man he replaced is the husband Link’s father. It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business.
I guessed one of the big bads early on, but that did not affect my enjoyment of the book. The author still had to spin out her plot, and I liked watching it unravel. There’s a bit of Hollywood blockbuster nonsense at the end, but the author paints some great pictures. Surprisingly, this is my first book by Rader-Day, but it won’t be my last.
I read an advance reader copy of The Death of Us. It is scheduled to be published on October 3, and the Galesburg Public Library will own the book in print, as an ebook, and in audio. The library owns Rader-Day’s previous six books, if you want to try one now.