Principal Emily Taylor feels safe in the friendly little town of Burchill—until she finds a body in her school. The murder of caretaker Nathaniel Ryeburn brings back memories she'd rather forget and plunges Emily into a mystery that involves a secret diary, an illegal puppy mill and a murderer innocently disguised as an ordinary citizen.
As fear rips through the traumatized town, Emily's investigation inadvertently leads the police to her door, and to her husband Langford, who is hiding a secret of his own. It becomes clear to Emily that many of Burchill's residents are merely wearing masks. And it's time for those masks to be ripped away…and for a killer's identity to be revealed.
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"Astolfo grabs small-town Ontario and shakes it until its ugly secrets pour out." —Lou Allin, author of She Felt No Pain
"A story rich in detail with unexpected twists and turns that keep you involved right through to the shocking end." —Meredith Henderson, actress, film producer, poet
"Love and depravity, rebirth and rot, veneer and the real wood underneath—Astolfo brings these opposing forces into play as she creates the complex community that is Burchill." —Garry Ryan, author of the Detective Lane Mysteries