As a small-town preacher’s kid, Mindy suffocates under the weight of intrusive church members' constant judgments—which only escalates after she’s subpoenaed as a defense witness for a neighbor accused of killing teenage girls.
Sucked into the vortex of his high-profile trial, Mindy is targeted by viral hashtags, bullies, and swarming media. She retreats into the safety of her dreamy new boyfriend, fantasizing about a full-life reboot with him after graduation. But with her eyes pinned on the killer she knows, Mindy isn’t ready for the beautiful betrayer lurking at her back.
BURN BABY BURN x THE SERPENT KING
Mom would apparently rather die than admit it, but the murders near our place at Lake Murphy had her rattled. Even so, the first morning of summer vacation, we were packing for three weeks of camping out in our unairconditioned double-wide trailer on a secluded cove. So much chaos radiated off Mom, I imagined her roped off with yellow crime-scene tape—warning us to stay back.
A text from Whitney pinged my phone. Please tell me y’all aren’t still going to the lake?
Ugh. Not again.
My best friends, Whitney and Sanjay had spent most of lunch yesterday nagging me to stick around until the police caught the guy. Like my parents ever asked my opinion.
They’d never understand. How could they? Short of burning down the office or getting arrested, no one at their parents’ jobs gave a rat’s ass what they did. Much less felt entitled to take a public stance on it.
My family lived under a microscope—with bright lights glaring down to expose every flaw. That’s what we needed to escape from.
The lake was the only place it could happen. And my parents were willing to bet my life on it.