Word Count: 83,000
Genre: YA Contemporary
After blowing off a phone call from her best friend Michelle because she didn't want to listen to anymore boyfriend drama, Annie comes home from the movies to two detectives sitting in her living room ready to interrogate her. Somehow classic good-girl Michelle was officially missing, and now everyone wanted to know everything Annie did. As Annie tries to wrap her head around the situation, Michelle's sketchy dad starts painting a different picture of who his daughter was compared to the friend Annie thought she knew. In the pursuit of clearing both her and her former best friend's name, Annie starts her own investigation with the help of a young detective. As Annie continues to uncover the murky truth, she finds it harder and harder to ignore the guilt welling up inside of her.
But when Michelle's remains are found years later, everyone starts finding closure--well, everyone except Annie, who travels home from college for the memorial only to find herself face-to-face with Michelle's family and her own painful past. This time though, her best friend's younger sister, Sam, is at the age where Michelle started having trouble with dear old, creeptastic dad and reaches out to Annie for help-- especially because she has her own suspicions as to what happened to her half sister.
Reuniting with her detective friend who doesn't seem quite as old as he did back then, Annie tries to crack the case herself. Only this time, Annie discovers a lot more than she bargains for in the area of life, love, and how to move on.
First 250 Words:
I should’ve just answered the phone. seemed so long ago in night haze I found myself in. I felt like a frightened ten-year-old, staring at the detectives sitting on the couch across from me.
They said Michelle was missing.
Detective Stone was probably in his thirties or forties. He had an average stature when he was standing that still hovered over my five-foot-five frame. He had a goatee, a sort of buzz cut, and a leather jacket and jeans. It seemed like he was trying to be cool and it wasn’t really working for him. His partner, Detective Royal, didn’t look much older than me, which didn’t seem possible. He looked like he was college age, and I wondered how old you had to be to become a detective. He was a few good inches taller than Detective Stone, at least six feet tall, and had coffee colored hair that contrasted with his blue eyes. His face was kind, unlike his partner, who seemed to have a face etched in stone.
My parents were sitting at the dining room table, just a few feet behind me. I felt like I was in an odd interrogation scene—the detectives in front of me, my parents behind me.
Did they think I was guilty?
“So, Miss Clark, tell us about Michelle,” Detective Stone said. “What was she like?”
“I still don’t understand,” I said.
Detective Royal leaned forward on the couch a little bit like a psychologist prepping to tell me that I was crazy.