Intriguing storyline and page-turning plotting lifts Merrill’s excellent latest psychological thriller. Harriet has never met her father, but she appreciates her mother’s presence in her life. When a series of unfortunate incidents leave Harriet living all by herself in her home, she knows she’s bound for the foster care system. A twist of fate offers Harriet a new chance at life. But with a few murders at her conscience, Harriet knows she must do whatever it takes to keep herself safe. Merrill skillfully showcases her characters’ humanity: she delicately balances Harriet’s child-like innocence with her inner darkness without losing sight of the crux of the plot. As Harriet steps into adolescence and adulthood, the reader realizes there’s something definitely wrong with her. But Merrill casts Harriet in a sympathetic role, and despite the latter’s psychopathic tendencies, the reader will find it hard not to root for her. Throughout, Merrill explores grief, childhood trauma and abuse, parental negligence, substance abuse, isolation, resilience, survival, outrage spawned by trauma, and the human tendency to adjust according to circumstances. The novel keeps readers guessing all the way to the unsettling solution. Fans of fast-paced psychological thrillers won’t want to miss this darkly disturbing tale.