"Open House" by Katie Sise


A decade ago in upstate New York, art student Emma McCullough walked into the woods and was never seen again. It’s a mystery that still haunts her bucolic university town and her broken family, especially her sister, Haley, whose need for closure has become an obsession. But now, finally, the first piece of evidence in the vanishing has been found: Emma’s bracelet, lodged in a frozen piece of earth at the bottom of a gorge. For Emma’s three best college friends, for a beloved former teacher, and for Haley, the chilling trinket is more than a clue in a resurrected cold case. It’s a trigger.

Then a woman is attacked during an open house, and the connections between the two crimes, ten winters apart, begin to surface. So do the secrets that run as deep and dark as the currents in this quiet river town.

It took several chapters to get into this book, but I'm glad I stuck with it. The base of it is good; once you brush off all the stuff thrown at you to distract and confuse. I felt overwhelmed by the number of turns the author took to get to the truth. I also found the final extra twist about the sister's disappearance a little hard to believe because the author hadn't sufficiently shaded the perpetrator in a way that made me accept their actions. I enjoyed the second half of the book better than the first. The jumping around in time was somewhat jarring, and the epilogue disappointed me some.