In Flowering Dogwood, a small town in Maine, Melissa D’Agostino, a fourteen-year-old girl with Down syndrome, is found dead by strangulation. All the inhabitants are uneasy, thinking their small town harbors a cruel killer who attacked a defenseless, handicapped girl. Police Chief Nalen Storrow, who has a past of abuse and alcoholism, is horrified to find that a lot of paths lead to the same suspect: his own son, Billy, who was already involved in the killing of stray cats some months before…

Eighteen years later, Detective Rachel Storrow, Nalen’s daughter, decides to reopen the case (which was never solved) after Melissa’s father, a homeless man, dies. A few days later, two gruesome murders put the police on edge: has Melissa’s murderer awoken after such a long time? Once again, suspicions about Rachel’s brother emerge. She will have to race against the clock to find the murderer who destroyed Flowering Dogwood’s peace…

This novel looked promising: the plot is interesting and fast-paced after a rather slow but tense start. Unfortunately, I found the ending pretty implausible and very unsatisfying (I should say "doubly" unsatisfying), which retrospectively ruins the whole story. There are also some loose ends: some things are just never explained… Finally, there is a scene that reminds so much of The Silence of the Lambs that it almost becomes a plagiarism. The style is average and full of clichés, and the characters lack depth, but this could have been forgivable had the solution been any good. Well, despite the excellent amazon.com rating, this mystery didn’t work for me…

Rating: 2,5/5