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Tom Bridger, who is half Melungeon, thought he had escaped his mountain community's lingering prejudice against the mixed-race group when he left to work for the Richmond, Virginia Police Department. Tom was moving up the detective ranks when a family tragedy brought him back home and moved him into his father's job as a county sheriff's deputy. Now the bones of a Melungeon woman have surfaced on a remote mountaintop, and all evidence points to murder. Violence escalates as the victim's poor family and the wealthy white family she married into scramble to protect their secrets from Tom's probing. Adding to his pain, he wonders if his father was not the man he idolized. Tom is falling in love with veterinarian Rachel Goddard, who is struggling to forge a new life in a place that holds no memories. Rachel puts herself in danger when she befriends the dead woman's niece Holly. As a child, the girl witnessed something that could implicate her aunt's killer, but she is too terrified to tell anyone what she knows. The guilty are determined to silence the girl - and Rachel too, if she interferes - changing Tom's investigation into a personal quest to lay the dead, and the living, to rest.
- ReadHowYouWant, November 2009
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