This is a library book that I picked up because I like the author, but it was different than her books I had read earlier, a stand-alone.
Normally I don't notice cover art very much, but this time it grabbed me. At top is a girl in a blue coat running through tall brush; at bottom is the negative image of that scene with the girl's dark hair turned white and her coat turned red. It looks like she is disappearing into the unknown. Between the cover art and the story, this book got under my skin and was disturbing. I say that despite the fact that the villain in the story is from the outset on death row where he has been for two decades as his lawyer managed delay after delay. Soon however he will be executed, but he has one last request.
Walter Bowman had kidnapped and murdered four teenage girls but a fifth girl, Elizabeth Lerner, he had held hostage for nearly six weeks and then he was arrested and she was saved. Now Eliza Benedict, married and the mother of two young children, she has managed to create a normal happy life with an understanding man who has always known about her past. Then one day she receives a letter from Walter. He says he saw her picture in a magazine that was taken at a party she attended with her prominent husband. He writes, "I'd know you anywhere."
Of course this is a terrible bolt out of the blue, bringing all the horrible memories crashing back down upon her head. Walter wants to talk to her, and after talking it over with her husband, she decides to accept a phone call from him. There is a woman who intercedes for Walter. She is an advocate for abolishing the death penalty. Particularly interested in Walter's case, she actually contacts Eliza. Another character playing a role in the story is the mother of the final victim who would like nothing more than to see Eliza dead and her own daughter alive. She is obsessed with the execution.
Through flashbacks we learn some of the details of those weeks she was Walter's hostage. My nerves were on edge; I actually kept telling myself it was just fiction. The tension builds right up to the end as you see Walter's real agenda and everyone else's as well. This is one of those stories you have to finish because you are on tenterhooks until you find out how it ends. I do recommend it.