Synopses & Reviews
Patricia MacDonald has won a worldwide audience of readers with her page-turning crime novels that expertly blend riveting suspense and powerful family drama. Now, she delivers the chilling story of a woman who discovers that her own eyewitness testimony about her sister's abduction led to the conviction and execution of the wrong man and that the real killer is still at large.
When Tess DeGraff was nine years old and on a camping trip in New Hampshire with her family, a stranger kidnapped and killed her sister Phoebe. Thanks to Tess's eyewitness testimony, a man named Lazarus Abbott was arrested and convicted for the heinous crime. But twenty years later, a test reveals that Abbott's DNA does not match that of Phoebe's murderer. Driven by her fear that she may have sent an innocent man to his death, Tess and her adopted son, Erny, return to the New Hampshire town in which it all happened years ago.
Stone Hill, New Hampshire, is still an idyllic New England town. Tess's courageous mother, Dawn, who suffered the violent loss of her daughter and the early death of her heartbroken husband, now runs the charming Stone Hill Inn. Tess's older brother, Jake, lives nearby with his wife, a local girl he fell in love with during the trial of his sister's killer. While Tess's family stands by her account of the crime, nerves are frayed throughout Stone Hill, and others in town accuse her of lying and view her as a murderer.
In a race against time to untangle the truth about her sister's murder, Tess encounters an anti-death penalty lawyer, Ben Webster, who infuriates her but who also might open her eyes and her heart; a biased police chief related to the Abbotts; and an unknown killer who has Tess and Erny in his sights. With fascinating characters and a host of shocking surprises, Stolen in the Night displays Patricia MacDonald's storytelling powers at an impressive new level.
"'A child abduction with elements of the Elizabeth Smart case triggers this pallid romantic suspense novel from Edgar-finalist MacDonald (The Unforgiven). When she was nine, Tess DeGraff witnessed the knifepoint kidnapping of her teenage sister, Phoebe, by a wild-eyed man with a ponytail who warned her that breaking her silence would lead to her sister's death. Phoebe's abused corpse was found shortly afterward, and a local sex offender, Lazarus Abbott, was executed after Tess described the abductor and pointed to him in court. Two decades later, DNA evidence exonerates Abbott, and Tess becomes vilified in Abbott's New Hampshire home town, leading her to some awkward amateur sleuthing to uncover the truth. Her implausible relationship with Ben Ramsey, the attorney representing the Abbott family, fails to distract readers from identifying Phoebe's real killer, hidden by only a scant handful of red herrings. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Spellbinding...a gripping nail-biter in the tradition of Mary Higgins Clark." Julia Spencer-Fleming, Edgar Award-nominated author of All Mortal Flesh
"MacDonald's captivating mystery is a buoyant blend of sweaty-palms suspense and you-go-girl adventure." Booklist
From the author of Married to a Stranger and The Girl Next Door comes this chilling novel about a 20-year-old murder, a present-day killer, and the death penalty's controversial role in the criminal justice system.
About the Author
Patricia Macdonald's darkly hypnotic tales have captivated readers across America, as well as in France, where she is a #1 bestselling author. Her previous novels include Suspicious Origin, Stranger in the House, Not Guilty, and the Edgar Award-nominated The Unforgiven. She lives with her husband and daughter in New Jersey, where she is working on her next novel.