I really didn't like this one. I had vague memories of reading book #1, so maybe it's my own fault for not re-reading that one first to go into this one fresh. Honestly though, I don't think it would have helped. The characters didn't grab me and the plot seemed nonsensical after a while. We eventually sputter to an ending.
The main character (if you can call her that since you get many POVs in this one) is prosecutor Ellen North. Ellen is trying a local professor in good standing in the community with a kidnapping and possible murder of a young boy (Josh Kirkwood). With her boss ready to throw her under the bus at any moment, Ellen is walking a tightrope when the young boy suddenly reappears and refuses to speak about what happened to him.
We not only follow Ellen, we follow a true crime novelist (Jay Brooks) along with the young boy, his mother, his father, one of the neighbors, the local sheriff, and I know I am forgetting some people. There are too many characters to juggle in this one. It needed cut down a lot.
I personally didn't like the character of Jay at all and thought he was creepy/stalking Ellen.
I didn't feel one way or the other for Ellen.
The other characters just pop in and out of the story throughout. I think I was supposed to be on pins and needles about what happened with everyone, but think that Hoag left way too many things up in the air regarding the personal relationships that may have drawn people in via book #1.
The whole mystery of what happened to Josh Kirkwood and why took way too long to get to. I found myself getting bored along the way. When things are finally revealed I maybe just went "huh" rather than even trying to work out all of the plot holes I had with the book as written.