Wakarusa, Indiana is one of those towns where the wide-open expanses of cornfield belie the claustrophobia of living next to the same people all your life. There’s an art to making a life in small town: show up to church, know your place, and hide your sins.
When six-year-old January Jacobs disappears from her bedroom, her farm-royalty family become the main suspects. Although a contaminated crime scene precludes a conviction in the court of law, the town sentences January’s mother to a lifetime of whispers and not-so-secret blame.
Decades have passed but the people of Wakarusa remember every detail of January’s technically unsolved murder. That’s why it’s so easy for crime reporter Margot to slip into an investigation when she returns to her childhood town. Another girl has gone missing a few towns over, and Margot can’t help but connect this tragedy to what happened to her lost friend. Can she solve this case before more girls go missing?
Margot makes an excellent, if not desperate, amateur detective, and it’s satisfying to see her piece together clues and uncover conspiracies. I’d recommend this psychological thriller to fans of true crime (the author, Ashley Flowers, hosts the Crime Junkies podcast).