"In this mystery, a woman learns startling truths about her family.
"Lucy Gillespie's wonderful life in Canada as a thriving artist with a devoted husband is forever changed when she learns she has inherited a substantial trust and a twisted family history. She meets her grandaunt Gracie Hogan, who, at the age of 96, is able to recall key stories about Lucy's parents, grandparents, and more. Her recordings and Lucy's own investigation lead to several striking revelations. But Lucy's pursuit of the truth is challenged by figures who don't want it disclosed. Juliette Garner is the lawyer who is responsible for the trust Lucy stands to inherit. Juliette's great-uncles worked with Lucy's grandfather, but the women's ancestors weren't perfect, and Juliette is desperate to keep certain secrets from being unearthed. In addition, there is a strange man visiting Gracie who has his own warped connection to Lucy and her family. He wants the land the money Gracie has now given Lucy, and he'll do anything to get them. As Lucy continues to delve into her family's past, she also uncovers her own unsettling memories. The stress of the sudden inheritance and the disturbing secrets begins to have an effect on her. She finds herself waking up in her studio ("her special place") with finished paintings in front of her of a mysterious figure. Lucy soon discovers that following the clues to family mysteries may reveal more than she ever dreamed of or wanted. Gibbens has crafted a gripping series opener with unpredictable yet believable twists and turns. Lucy's family history is reminiscent of a gothic horror story while her own drama resembles a modern thriller. The author skillfully mixes the dark doings of her unsavory characters with more lighthearted scenes between Lucy and her loved ones. Almost all of the players feel realistic, with intricate and credible character arcs. The tale's villain is somewhat one-dimensional, but when the antagonist plays off such engaging heroes as Lucy and Gracie, the dialogue and the characters' reactions make up for it. "A complex, riveting thriller about shocking family secrets."--Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2022