In Her Mother’s Grave (Grand Central), bestselling author Lisa Regan takes readers further inside the life of Denton, Pennsylvania’s police chief, Josie Quinn, as a 30-year-old murder resurfaces.
Josie has always tried to forget her childhood. What’s done is done, and she doesn’t want to bring up the real-life ghosts that terrified her until she was 14. But the decades-old bones of a 19-year-old girl are found buried near the Moss Gardens Trailer Park where she grew up — at the exact location where her father committed suicide. How could this be a coincidence?
The coroner identifies the girl through her dental abnormality — she has a rare condition, extra teeth that look like fangs. The girl’s name was Belinda Rose. The name sends chills through Josie’s body, and her world teeters on its axis — Belinda Rose was her cruel mother’s name, and Josie knows that the remains don’t belong to her. But this girl shared her mother’s birthday — October 15, 1966.
As Josie and her team investigate, it’s clear that the name Belinda Rose did not belong to the evil witch who was her mother. So who was the woman who claimed to be her mom? Why did she have the dead girl’s name? And was she involved in this unearthed murder?
CYBER THREATS TURN TERRIFYING
To make matters worse, someone is harassing Josie by listing Craigslist ads with her phone number, advertising for disgusting and graphic sexual encounters. She’s already changed her number three times, but somehow it continues. She’s sure Lloyd Todd, the rich drug-dealing real estate mogul she’d arrested a month earlier, is behind it. But as the pranks turn into more violent acts — someone breaks into her house, steals her jewelry, and vandalizes her bedroom — Josie realizes that something more nefarious might be stalking her.
National news correspondent Trinity Payne, who rose to fame after helping Josie solve the horrendous missing girls’ case two years prior, wants to do a story on Josie. Because Josie hates being in the spotlight, however, she tries to keep her distance. But when she needs information that only Trinity can provide, Josie walks right into another murder.
Trinity is videotaped committing a heinous crime, then disappears; after all these abnormalities, Josie knows that Belinda Rose’s murder reaches far wider than she’d first believed. Someone is manipulating the people in Denton, and it’s her job to find the sickening puppeteer who’s pulling the strings.
REVISITING A HORRIFIC CHILDHOOD
While putting the puzzle pieces together and examining the life of the girl named Belinda Rose, Josie must recall buried, painful memories of growing up with a mother who was not only neglectful but viciously dangerous. Josie’s “soul remained scarred” and the darkness haunts her to this day. Digging through her past reveals so many unanswered questions while also paining her enormously.
Fans of Josie Quinn now discover what caused the scar on the side of her face, why she’s so afraid of closets and confined spaces, and why she wants to avoid her mother at all costs. Regan thus takes us into the terrifying life of the young Josie as she tries to survive the sadistic misconduct of a sociopathic mother.
As Josie tracks the killer, she discovers multiple shameful secrets kept by “upstanding” members of the Denton community, but she also learns that her own true identity has been hidden from her all these years. As each piece of the puzzle fits into its rightful place, Josie gets long-awaited answers and finally discovers who her mother really is.
Alternating between the murder investigation in the present and Josie’s childhood, Regan proves the extent of the damage Josie suffered from a ruthless mother. She deftly and compassionately gives readers an intimate look into Josie’s youth, where we witness a little girl living in fear as her mother abuses her for years. We are there too, hiding under the kitchen table to escape a mother’s wrath, filled with terror and heartbreak as young Jodie clutches her stuffed dog, Wolfie, who is her only friend.
Regan weaves a tale of resilience, demonstrating how surviving a horrendous childhood made Josie into a tough-as-nails police chief. Fans of women overcoming trauma will cheer for Josie as she navigates the bridge between past and present. In Her Mother’s Grave, we truly meet the real Josie Quinn, and once again, the twists and turns take us to a conclusion we never saw coming.