The Couple Next Door meets The Chain in this domestic thriller where the truth is more dangerous than the lie.
To cover up the death of your son, you take someone else’s child and raise him as your own. At least, that’s Maddie’s husband’s solution. It’s best for everyone, he says, including the boy. But the truth of the child’s identity is a secret that will upend both families’ lives.
More than anything, Maddie wanted a drink. She paced the perimeter of her son’s bedroom. Twenty-seven steps today. Yesterday it had been twenty-six. Her husband had made sure the house was alcohol-free before he left to deliver their terrible news to his parents. Whenever she wanted to drive to the package store, Maddie beat herself back by remembering her last conversation with Nathan. June 18, just a few days after his sixth birthday. A week earlier. A lifetime ago.
“Mommy, are you alcohol sick?” he’d asked.
She hadn’t even known he was in the room and she turned sharply, bottle in hand. His new short haircut made him look even more serious than usual: a young inquisitor.
“Where did you hear that?”
“You and Daddy said so last night.”
The things kids overheard. Maddie and Ralph had been talking about alcoholics anonymous. She wanted to go, but he disagreed because they’d done so well fighting her demons together. She was almost there, he said. He always preferred homespun remedies.
“No, honey,” she lied. “Mommy’s fine. Aren’t you going outside to ride Queenie? Your dad’s getting her ready for you.”
But she’d been wrong. Ralph hadn’t been getting the pony ready. He hadn’t even been home.
Her phone vibrated. She pulled it out of her pocket and glanced down. Speak of the devil.