By Jennifer McMahon

While parked at a fuel station, Rhonda sees anything so incongruously surreal that in the first place she hardly ever acknowledges it as a criminal offense in growth. She watches, unmoving, as a person wearing a rabbit dress kidnaps a tender woman. Devastated over having performed not anything, Rhonda joins the research. however the nearer she involves making a choice on the abductor, the closer she will get to the troubling fact approximately one other lacking baby: her ally, Lizzy, who vanished years before.

From the writer of the acclaimed Promise to not Tell comes a chilling and enthralling story of shattered innocence, guilt, and supreme redemption.

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The engine had hummed. they'd pulled the white best up whilst it rained, a few type of fancy umbrella. Now, her mom and dad warned her to not play there: It’s risky, her mom and dad advised her. you may get harm. Don’t play there. yet that outdated vehicle referred to as her, the octopus known as her, the mice that lived within the gap within the seat referred to as her. The little mouse infants, crimson and blind, that squeaked and lived in a nest of straw among the rusted springs, known as out to her, a refrain of high-pitched voices making a song via nubs of tiny orange enamel. She’d pulled again the torn red-and-white seat conceal and noticeable them wriggle just like the advice of hands. She introduced snacks for the mama mouse: items of yankee cheese, peanut butter crackers, birdseed stolen from Nana Laura Lee’s poultry feeder. Suzy knew what mice cherished. And this used to be not only any mouse. This used to be the secret-underwater-periscope-up-first-officer mama mouse who used to be neighbors with the octopus, who advised her how you can outwit the sharks, who had driven seven wormy infants out from within her. the infant mice squeaked louder as they dove deeper into the ocean, the water darkish as ink round them. Suzy driven again her thick blond curls, the heavy ringlets, and squinted throughout the cracked windshield, out the aspect portholes. Nana Laura Lee, her mom’s mama, known as Suzy “Shirley Temple” and spent hours fussing with the girl’s hair. She acquired her ribbons and bows, candy little clothes that Suzy swiftly bought stuck on prickers and barbed cord, ripping them till they have been purely more than enough for doll bandages or Indian headbands. yet this afternoon’s online game used to be dive down and feature tea within the octopus’s backyard sooner than her daddy got here trying to find her. So down she dove, working from sharks the full approach. “HELLO THERE! ” Suzy’s shoulders jerked whilst she heard the voice. It used to be the voice of a drained guy, a guy caught on land, a guy who sincerely didn’t be aware of she used to be miles underwater now and wouldn’t be ready to listen him. Suzy wasn’t speculated to consult strangers. She knew what may possibly occur in the event you did. you'll turn out like Ernestine Florucci, who were within the moment grade with Suzy and now should be long past ceaselessly. even if they lived in Vermont—where, Suzy now learned, hearing the grown-ups, such things as that weren’t speculated to ensue. Like dwelling in Vermont was once a vaccine opposed to undesirable issues. She pulled the dive lever at the sub and sank extra, thought of anything she’d visible at the information final week, anything approximately Ernestine, yet her daddy had jumped up and became the television off prior to Suzy might listen. the inside track guy within the blue swimsuit used to be announcing whatever a few confession, which Suzy knew was once in the event you went right into a little room with a clergyman with a white collar. Then the television snapped off and her mom and dad talked in hushed voices. they'd all long past out for creemees—Suzy acquired a chocolate-maple twist with additional chocolate sprinkles. “Whatchya doing there? ” the fellow requested Suzy, his voice pleasant. He used to be correct beside her now, his palms resting at the chipped crimson door. He used to be donning a eco-friendly jacket with a badge pinned to front and sporting a walkie-talkie.

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