A woman as deep in despair as a person can be. Is it unbearable grief or unbearable guilt?
A child is missing, a baby taken away in the middle of the night. It’s a life-shattering tragedy, but no one seems to care. Is it because the grieving mother is a “lowlife druggie,” as the chief investigator maintains? Or is there another reason the case is given short shrift by the “good people” of James Mill?
Richard Carter, an ex-Marine suffering PTSD who has been spared prosecution for felony homicide only by a governor’s pardon, consents to help the grieving mother, Molly. In doing so, he ignores the pleading of his wife, Jill, who begs him to disengage from the situation which she sees as a threat to his wounded psyche.
Will the truth, if and when he finds it, save or destroy the woman who sees Richard as her “godsend?”
What he is doing may be futile as well as unwise. It may, in fact, plunge him into clinical depression and wreck his marriage. He has given his word to Molly, but Jill is his life.
What will the truth do to them all? And what are “cold tears”?
The author has rated this book PG-13 (questionable content for children under 13).
Molly rolled onto her side and cried out as her broken rib wrenched her awake. She groaned, sat up gingerly, fighting against nausea as the room spun around her. Drawing shallow breaths to keep the pain in her side tolerable, she watched the gray rectangle of the window execute a never-concluding fall to the floor. She turned on the lamp, gasping as harsh light slammed raw pain through her eyes to the top of her head.
Bracing against the walls, she stumbled down the hall to the bathroom and went in without flipping the switch. As she did often, especially when drunk or hung over, Molly replayed all the bad times, running through the futile “what ifs.” It was a terrible idea, and she knew it. It had become an irresistible compulsion lately, however, like picking at a scab.
On the way back to her lonely bed, she stopped by the other bedroom and listened for the comforting sound of her daughter’s breathing. Hearing nothing, she held her breath to listen closer. There was only the sound of air whistling from the overhead vent. She reached inside and flipped the switch. The bed was disheveled, but unoccupied. Light flickered from the muted television in the living room. She went into the bedroom and pulled a blanket from the bed. Dragging it down the hall, she tried to remember if Katie had said anything about bedding Mancie down in the living room.
The crib was empty, causing her a confused moment of anxiety.
She tried to calm herself as she went back to the bedroom. Colliding with the doorframe shot renewed pain through her side, but cleared some of the fuzz in her mind. She inhaled carefully and then went around the bed, sure that she would find her daughter curled up on the floor again. Mancie wasn’t there.
Molly lowered herself gingerly to her hands and knees to peer under the bed.
Beginning to panic, she hurried back to the living room, throwing on the hall light in the process. She searched the floor behind the chair and couch. Then she rushed to her own bedroom, thinking that maybe she had brought her daughter to bed like she used to right after Pat moved out.
The bed was empty.
She searched everywhere again. Then she saw the security chain hanging unfastened. She tried the knob. It was unlocked.
“Mancie!” she shouted, rushing outside into the darkness.
She screamed her daughter’s name again. And then she just screamed and screamed.
Copyright© AR Simmons. All rights reserved.