Close to Home by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sarah Stewart McAdams returns to Stewart Crossing (named for her family) to fix up Blue Peacock Manor and escape from an employer (Evan Tolliver) turned stalker. Her two daughters are less then thrilled to be taken from the big city and stuck in this rural backwater where they can't even get Internet or decent cell reception.
Gracie becomes obsessed with the ghost of Angelique and after she finds Helen's diary (Angelique's step-daughter) spends all her time trying to translate it. She finally tells her Mom about the diary and Sarah helps her translate it. They discover that the family legend of Maxim killing his wife wasn't true, it was her step-son George who killed her and most likely killed Maxim too. Sarah also realizes that the ghost she sees isn't the same one Gracie sees.
Sarah sees the ghost of her "older sister", Theresa. Theresa leads Sarah to her tomb which also houses the body of Maxim. While they are at the family cemetery , Gracie finds the body of Evan Tolliver. Then Roger Anderson (Theresa's brother) grabs her to keep her safe. When the police and Clint arrive and let Sarah out of the vault she remembers that Roger saved her from being molested by her Father years ago. Roger reveals that Theresa is really Sarah's Mother and that Arlene killed her husband to prevent him from molesting Sarah the same way he did his step-daughter Theresa.
Jade has mixed emotions about discovering the identity of her biological Father, a secret Sarah kept for 17 years from both Father and daughter. Happy to have her car out of the shop she is dismayed when she is rear ended. Her dismay quickly turns to fear when she realizes the creep that has been kidnapping teenage girls rear ended her on purpose. Jade makes plans with the other kidnapping victims to escape from the barn where they are being held before the creep can sale them as brides to the "mountain men". Noticing traffic headed toward the abandoned Stewart Barn Sarah and Clint alert the police and go to rescue their daughter.
The book dragged on at places and it seemed that none of the the various threads got the attention it deserved.
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