“A diabolically creepy hybrid of horror and psychological suspense that thrills as much as it unsettles. You’ll keep turning the pages even as your hands shake.”—Riley Sager, New York Times best-selling author of Home Before Dark
A pulse-pounding, true-crime-based horror novel inspired by the McMartin preschool trial and Satanic Panic of the ’80s.
Richard doesn't have a past. For him, there is only the present: a new marriage, a first chance at fatherhood, and a quiet life as an art teacher in Virginia. Then the body of a ritualistically murdered rabbit appears on his school's playground with a birthday card for Richard. Richard doesn't have a birthday—but Sean does.
Sean is a five-year-old boy who has just moved to Virginia with his mother. Like most moms of the 1980s, she's worried about bills, childcare, putting food on the table . . . and an encroaching threat that can take the face of anyone: a politician, a neighbor, or even a teacher. When Sean’s school sends a letter to the parents revealing that Sean’s favorite teacher is under investigation, a white lie from Sean lights a fire that engulfs the entire nation—and Sean and his mother are left holding the match.
Now, thirty years later, someone is here to remind Richard that they remember what Sean did. And though Sean doesn’t exist anymore, someone needs to pay the price for his lies.