Once a Wall Street hotshot, Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree chucked it all for a charmingly dilapidated fixer-upper in the tiny town of Eastport, Maine. She was certain she'd left the dangers of city life behind - until she discovered that no place, no matter how idyllic and peaceful it may appear, is safe from murder.
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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…
It began with the mysterious disappearance of Harriet Hollingsworth - Eastport's snoopiest resident. Everyone is convinced the old busybody bolted out of town to escape her creditor - everyone except Jake and her best friend Ellie who know Harriet would never leave home without her most prized possession. But before Jake and Ellie can persuade police chief Bob Arnold to open an investigation, they'll need to come up with proof more sinister than a pair of abandoned binoculars.
Just as Jake starts poking around for clues, things suddenly take a troubling turn for the worse. A suspicious accident nearly kills her teenaged son, Sam, and her husband, Wade, just misses getting his head blown off. Jake is prepared to attribute these incidents to a spate of bad luck-until another "accident" leaves a visitor to Eastport unmistakably dead.
Most perplexing, all this mayhem coincides with the unexpected arrival of a man from Jake's past: a former New York City cop. Harry Markle claims he has unintentionally brought an unwelcome guest into Eastport: a crook determined to knock off everyone with ties to Harry.
Twenty-four hours ago, Jake's only worry was fixing her broken-down gutters and downspouts before the big storm swept into town. Now, everything seems to be falling apart all around her. Jake knows from experience that the truth is usually as messy and complicated as do-it-yourself remodeling. As it becomes chillingly clear that appearances in this quaint community are more misleading than ever, she'll have to find a way to lure a homicidal maniac into the light - before he nails another victim.