After her parents' divorce, Zoe Webster must move from an “almost good part of Brooklyn” to River Heights, “a small city in the armpit of upstate New York.” She is friendless, unless the annoyingly enticing company of Digby can be counted. Digby’s modus operandi is to pop into Zoe’s life with a vaguely adventurous plan that could as easily end in assault charges.
However, Zoe isn’t displeased to discover that Digby’s partner-in-crime is strikingly handsome Henry Petropoulos, the earnest, well-intentioned quarterback of the school’s football team. But Zoe seems like one of the guys as she, Digby and Henry investigate the disappearance of Marina Miller, a high school girl who vanished from her room in the middle of the night. The mystery thickens when Zoe discovers that a 4-year-old girl, Digby’s younger sister, disappeared in the same way years earlier. Are they connected? And does the strange religious cult that lives in a mansion across the street from Zoe play a role in any of this?
Stephanie Tromly’s debut novel reflects her experience as a screenwriter; the dialogue is by turns funny, poignant and ominous. There are so many emotional undercurrents here: romantic, manipulative, vicious and big-hearted. It’s a gloriously fast-paced mystery with authentic, eccentric characters that should appeal to fans of Ellie Marney’s Every Breath or Jodi Lynn Anderson’s The Vanishing Season. At the book’s conclusion, readers will be begging for more Zoe and Digby.