CW: Gruesome details of murder victims
This story opened with a bang and didn't really let up from there.
Gina has a great life: perfect husband, 2.0 kids, house with white picket fence. Until she comes home one day to a nightmare and realizes that everything she though she knew was a lie: her husband is a serial killer.
Several years later, after spending life on the run from internet trolls and real crime sycophants and the families of her ex-husband's victims who want revenge any way they can get it, Gina's reinvented herself as Gwen, and her children also have new names. They're starting over in a quiet, idyllic lake town and while Gwen is paranoid about everything and everyone around her, she thinks they might just be able to put down roots here. Things are far from perfect, but for the first time she things just might have the possibility of getting better.
And then a body is found floating in the lake outside her home.
This was an interesting thriller that details just how hard it is to "disappear" in the age of internet, smart phones, GPS and social media. Gwen can't trust anyone with the secret of her previous identity, the one everyone hates without getting to know, but she does have to trust some people in order to keep fleeing when trouble gets too close. She's a woman who lives in a constant state of alert, and though she tries to shield her children from the worst of it, it still rubs off on them and affects them too. She sees hints of her ex-husband's detachment in her son and her own paranoia in her daughter. Though all her instincts are telling her to run, it makes sense why she decides that this time she's going to stand her ground.
The reactions of those around her also ring true and while some things do start become if not obvious then at least obviously suspicious, there's enough reason given to understand why Gwen isn't making these connections, even despite her paranoia. There are also enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing. I saw reviews that mentioned this ended in a cliffhanger - let me assure you that the main conflict that appears about halfway through the book is resolved in this book, but there's a last-minute development to hook you for the next book.