Little Falls by Elizabeth Lewes
English | 2020| Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 3.5 MB
She tried to forget the horrors of war-but her quiet hometown conceals a litany of new evils.
Sergeant Camille Waresch did everything she could to forget Iraq. She went home to Eastern Washington and got a quiet job. She connected with her daughter, Sophie, whom she had left as a baby. She got sober. But the ghosts of her past were never far behind.
While conducting a routine property tax inspection on an isolated ranch, Camille discovers a teenager’s tortured corpse hanging in a dilapidated outbuilding. In a flash, her combat-related PTSD resurges-and in her dreams, the hanging boy merges with a young soldier whose eerily similar death still haunts her. The case hits home when Sophie reveals that the victim was her ex-boyfriend-and as Camille investigates, she uncovers a tangled trail that leads to his jealous younger brother and her own daughter, wild, defiant, and ensnared.
The closer Camille gets to the truth, the closer she is driven to the edge. Her home is broken into. Her truck is blown up. Evidence and witnesses she remembers clearly are erased. And when Sophie disappears, Camille’s hunt for justice becomes a hunt for her child. At a remote compound where the terrifying truth is finally revealed, Camille has one last chance to save her daughter-and redeem her own shattered soul.
And that was it, really. Home. Her home was my home: the white farmhouse I had grown up in, the same place she had grown up after I left her to join the Army and then after I came back, when it was too much for me to take care of myself and take care of her too. And it had stayed that way, me in the apartment over the mart, her and my father in the old farmhouse thirty miles away. Until he died that May. After that, home was … well, not my apartment.
“Who brought you?” I asked as evenly as I could. “Who brought you back?”
Sophie turned quickly and stalked past me until, like a toy tied to her with string, I sprang up and reached out to grab her. But then she stopped and the string broke. My hand snapped back.
“Who?” I insisted, my voice cracking with the strain of holding back the fury, the anxiety and fear.
“Just a friend.”
“A name. Give me a name.”
Sophie glared at me, then bent to pick up her backpack. I rushed forward and put myself in her path. Her brown eyes—flecked with gold like mine—flashed dangerously, just like her father’s had when he’d been pushed too far. Just like mine must have too.
“Jason,” Sophie said through clenched teeth. “Jason Sprague.”
I stared her down. “Never heard of him.”
“You wouldn’t have,” she sneered. But then she dropped her eyes, dropped her head, and a lock of dark hair fell over her forehead.
“Granddad thought he was okay.”
She said it so quietly, almost reverently, her eyes so downcast that her long lashes fanned over her cheeks. Even I felt tears welling. But my father thought everyone was okay; he was everyone’s hero. And here’s the thing, here’s what I had learned about being a mother during those few months that Sophie and I had been the only ones left: your kid is the predator and you are the prey. They smell blood. They smell fear. And then—just then—Sophie was playing with her food.
“Fine,” I said, biting off the word. “I’ll meet him next time.”
I let her push past me. She slammed the bedroom door behind her; I stomped to the kitchen, poured a glass of water, and took it to the table.