By RJ Ellory
Published Jun 2013
When the rains came they found the girl’s face. Just her face. At least that was how it appeared…
When Sherif John Gaines is called down to the riverside, it is to supervise the recovery of the body of a teenage girl. The corpse is perfectly preserved – she could have died yesterday. But the locals of Whytesburg, Missisippi, are in for a shock. For Nancy Denton – a girl missing for over two decades – has come back to them from the cold embrace of the riverbank.
In 1954, on a perfect summer evening in August, 16-year-old Nancy walked into the woods, never to be seen again. Now she’s been found and her mother can finally put her memory to rest. But Nancy’s body bears horrific mutilations that suggest she was subjected to a terrifying ritual, an evil form of voodoo magic. Gaines discovers that Nancy’s tight-knit group of friends were present the night she disappeared and now he must find out what – if anything – they know. But none of them want to talk about that time, or their relationship with the beautiful and vivacious Nancy.
As Gaines digs ever deeper into the dark secrets of the town he is forced to confront his own demons. And when a new series of deaths begins in the wake of the discovery, Gaines must find the answer to two questions: Who really took Nancy that summer night? And what new evil has been released by digging her up?