Maggie is happily married to Noah, a widower, and they are happily raising Noah's son/Maggie's stepson Caleb in the suburbs of Philadelphia. But for roughly 17 years, Maggie's carried a hole in her heart. Her first husband Florian divorced her when she stopped being useful to him (working and supporting them both during his time in grad school), and he used her post-partum psychosis to have her declared an unfit mother, taking their daughter, at age six months, away from her. Florian managed to become insanely wealthy by selling an app he'd developed, and he established a jet-set lifestyle based in France.
Out of the blue, Maggie gets a phone call. The voice on the phone belongs to a young woman, saying she is Anna, wanting to reconnect with Maggie. Maggie immediately travels to Maine, where Anna has been attending an exclusive boarding school. It turns out that Florian, along with his second wife and their two young children, died in an airplane accident. Maggie makes a quick decision: Anna should come home with her and move in.
A short time afterward, Anna is dead. Noah stands accused of murdering her. The book is split into chapters designated "before" and "after" (i.e. before and after the death). Many of the "after" chapters are devoted to Noah's trial. Will he be found guilty? The "before" sections focus on the events leading up to the fateful night when the body is found.
As I read through the alternating chapters, I often held the thought, "Things are not as they seem. There will be twists." My main questions were--when will the twists arrive, and what will they be? Without giving away any secrets, I will say that the primary twist shows up at 75% into the book. Then the plot speeds up as the twists multiply and the truths come out. As I was mulling over possible twists early on, I did consider one that was roughly the actual twist--though I didn't anticipate 100% of the details.
The book kept me going, especially once I hit that 75% mark--then I had to keep going until I had all the details. The ending, to me, was satisfying, albeit a bit rushed. Going back and forth between Noah's and Maggie's narratives, there were times when the trial portions felt a bit grinding and I wished they could wrap up more quickly.
As an aside, I will mention that having grown up in Philadelphia (and now an expat), I was aware of Lisa Scottoline's books long before I decided to read one. There were often local news stories about this mystery writer who was local. I DNFed another Scottoline book that I just couldn't get into, but I don't recall which one. I enjoyed the references to places in the Philly area.