Quick Overview :
In the fall of 1967, Grayson Melvin met the girl of his dreams. Annie Lineberger was so far out his league that he felt like she was playing an entirely different game, but somehow he won her affections. He couldn’t believe his good luck while it lasted. They both were 18, but Grayson was a baby, and Annie had been around. She was beautiful, smart and funny. When she told him she loved him, he would have died for her, right then and there. Instead, Annie died—or at least disappeared from the face of the earth. On the same night when she broke Grayson’s teen-age heart by giving him his walking papers, she vanished. Everyone believed he killed her. Without a body, though, nothing could be proved. And so Grayson Melvin lived his life. Kicked out of his university, he went from the Army and Vietnam to bartending to another college to newspapers, where he discovered that Annie’s well-connected and vengeful family still had the power to step into his stunted life and punish him. Then, in the spring of 2016, Annie reappears. Our at least her bones do, dug up by a backhoe operator clearing land for a strip mall in a small Virginia town. Grayson, now teaching at a community college in Richmond and creeping toward retirement, is back in a spotlight he has tried to avoid for all his adult life. With the court of public opinion almost unanimously against him, Grayson goes back to North
Carolina to try to make the past go away, with disastrous results. Then, he gets a call. A woman he doesn’t know in a town where he’s never been has found a ring—his high school ring—last seen in Annie Lineberger’s possession. Grayson Melvin has one chance to prove his innocence, by chasing a ghost and figuring out what happened on that long-ago night, the one when he lost Annie. This is
HOWARD OWEN’S 16th novel. Owen was a longtime newspaperman, working at everything from reporter to sports editor to editorial pages editor. He has been writing fiction since 1989. He and his wife, Karen, live in Richmond. Among his earlier novels are the best-selling Littlejohn and the Willie Black mystery, Oregon Hill, which won the Dashiell Hammett prize for best crime literature in the United States and Canada.