Scarlett’s family has one rule: never speak of Nicodemus Stoker, billionaire owner of the palatial estate they manage, or the murders he allegedly committed before vanishing decades ago.
But when an earthquake reveals a long-dead body on the grounds, Scarlett questions her parents' involvement in the murders.
No one here, living or dead, is who they seem. Scarlett must uncover the truth about the property's dark past and find the killer before they find her.
The earthquake hit during Trigonometry.
Even before, I’d been nursing a vague sense of panic. The past two weeks, trig had become this greased pig. No matter how I tried to grab hold, it managed to squirm from my comprehension. When we filed into the room that morning, Mr. Hendricks sang out, “Pop quiz!”
Scowling, I took a copy and got to work failing. That’s when the ground started shaking.
Hello, I’m a Californian. I know what an earthquake is. Most of them around here are a magnitude 3.5 or below, which means they play out like this: Your stomach goes whhheeeeee! You think: what? Then you think: earthquake! And then: what should I do? But by the time you think that last part, it’s over.
Not this one. Windows rattled mad applause. Chairs danced, possessed, and so did all the kids in them. That checklist I mentioned? I got all the way to the last question. By then the shaking should have stopped. Instead, it got worse.
Right about when the earth seemed ready to open up and swallow us, everything went still. No birds outside, not even the hum of electricity from the overhead lights. I held tight to the one good thing I could think of. At least I was missing the trig quiz.