Terrifying things are happening to Kay Weden, a forty-something single mom and high school teacher in Salisbury, North Carolina. Despite having no known enemies, Kay’s home, car, and peace of mind are under attack throughout 1993. Most chilling of all are the senseless attacks on her only son and the shot fired in the night through a wall of her house, which narrowly misses his head as he sleeps.
Kay’s new love interest is the charming Viktor Gunnarsson. He’s a handsome Swede who left his home country to seek political asylum in the U.S. after being charged with the 1986 assassination of Sweden’s Prime Minister Palme. Viktor was briefly held in custody but subsequently released due to a lack of evidence.
The romantic connection between Kay and Viktor is immediate and intense until Viktor disappears without warning, leaving Kay baffled and sad. Kay leans on her loving, elderly mother, Catherine Miller, for solace until Catherine is brutally murdered inside her home by an unknown intruder.
With nowhere else to turn, Kay reconnects with her ex-fiancé L.C. Underwood, a seasoned police officer, particularly adept at criminal investigations. L.C. assures Kay he will get to the bottom of the incessant and tormenting occurrences.
When Viktor’s nude body is found two hours away in the snowy Appalachian Mountains, local Sheriff’s Detective Paula May is assigned to investigate his murder. What follows is an intense, hair-raising investigation that will shock you from the bitterly cold beginning to the unthinkable end.
From The Book:
On Thursday morning, December 9, 1993, Kay went to work at West Rowan High School as usual. About an hour after she arrived, Kay was surprised to see Mr. Paul Brown, her mother’s boss, arrive at the school with a lady who was a friend and co-worker of Catherine Miller’s. They had come for Kay.
“Wh—what’s wrong?” Kay asked shakily.
Paul Brown, touching her gently on the shoulder, said, “Mrs. Weden, your mother was not at work today. If it was anyone else, we wouldn’t be concerned. But as you know, your mother never misses work, and she is never late. We were concerned about her, so we called the sheriff’s department. We asked them to go by and check on her at her house.” That feeling of dread that suddenly solidifies into a rock in the pit of the stomach washed over Kay. She grabbed her purse and got into Paul Brown’s car. Jason and Mikkel were in class, and Kay did not want to worry them unnecessarily.
Brown drove them to Catherine’s home at 118 Larch Road, at the intersection of Larch Road and Enon Church Road. The house was also part of the Westcliff Development where Kay lived, about four miles west of Salisbury.
When they arrived at the house, Kay saw cars from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office parked in front. Her heart was pounding. She felt like she was going to be sick. She got out of Brown’s car and walked quickly toward the house. She was stopped by one of the deputies. “Mrs. Weden, we can’t get into the house because we don’t have a key.” Kay did not understand why they did not force the door open and go inside to check on her mother.
“I have a key,” she told them, “but it’s at my house just up the street.”
The deputy drove Kay quickly to her house where she went inside to get her mother’s house key. She picked up a key with one hand, and reached for the phone with the other. For no known reason, Kay dialed L. C.’s house. There was no answer. She left a message on his answering machine, “L. C., something has happened to my mother.” She laid the phone down and quickly returned to her mother’s house. Kay walked to the kitchen entrance, which she always used when she visited her mother. The first thing she noticed was that the storm door was not locked. Her mother always kept the screen door locked, and she would never unlock it unless she recognized whoever was at the door. But that was not possible. No one would harm her sweet little mother. Would they?