Gone Too Long by Lori Roy
English | 2019 | Mystery/Thriller | ePUB | 1.3 Mb
Gone Too Long :Two-time Edgar Award–winning author Lori Roy entangles readers in a heart-pounding tale of two women battling for survival against a century’s worth of hate.
On the day a black truck rattles past her house and a Klan flyer lands in her front yard, ten-year-old Beth disappears from her Simmonsville, Georgia, home. Armed with skills honed while caring for an alcoholic mother, she must battle to survive the days and months ahead.
Seven years later, Imogene Coulter is burying her father—a Klan leader she has spent her life distancing herself from—and trying to escape the memories his funeral evokes. But Imogene is forced to confront secrets long held by Simmonsville and her own family when, while clearing out her father’s apparent hideout on the day of his funeral, she finds a child. Young and alive, in an abandoned basement, and behind a door that only locks from the outside.
As Imogene begins to uncover the truth of what happened to young Beth all those years ago, her father’s heir apparent to the Klan’s leadership threatens her and her family. Driven by a love that extends beyond the ties of blood, Imogene struggles to save a girl she never knew but will now be bound to forever, and to save herself and those dearest to her. Tightly coiled and chilling, Gone Too Long ensnares, twists, and exposes the high price we are willing to pay for the ones we love.
“We’re closing up at noon,” Tillie says, and hollers for Mrs. Tillie to come on out and say hello. “We both want to be there today for you and your mama too.”
Imogene stretches over Tillie’s worktable to give him a hug. Some days, coming here and seeing these two has gotten easier. Other days, walking through that door is as hard as walking through a brick wall. Today, hugging Tillie is like grabbing on to the one thing that’ll keep her afloat.
“Well, look who it is,” Mrs. Tillie says, walking out from the back room. She smiles at first, but as she gathers Imogene’s hands and explains she’s just leaving to get her hair done, her smile softens and droops. “You’re looking too thin. Are you taking care of yourself?” And then turning to Tillie, she says, “Doesn’t she look too thin?”
“Quit fussing at the child,” Tillie says, waving her out the door.
“I’m sure real sorry to be dashing off, sweetheart,” Mrs. Tillie says, ignoring Tillie and laying a warm hand on Imogene’s cheek. “I know today is going to test you.”
Mrs. Tillie doesn’t say anything about Edison Coulter being a good man, because it isn’t true, and also because his passing isn’t what Mrs. Tillie is sorry about.
Imogene tries to say something, but a smile is the best she can do. The hardest part about coming to the shop is looking down into Mrs. Tillie’s face—her round cheeks, which shine when she’s happy, her watery blue eyes, her tiny nose—because it’s like looking into Vaughn’s face. From the day he was born, Vaughn favored his grandma.”