In Sala's heavy-handed novel about the consequences of sin, secrets, and selfishness, heroine Poppy Sadler flounders after learning that both her parents have died. In the first four pages of the book, Poppy's mother succumbs to cancer and her father, Jessup, is murdered. The 20-year-old waitress feels alone in her harsh, hardscrabble mining hometown on the wrong side of the tracks in West Virginia. She can't even get to work since the family's only car is now a crime scene that has been impounded by the police. What Poppy doesn't know is that, thanks to the unexpected mercy of mine owner Justin Caulfield, things may not be as bad as they seem. But life is definitely going to get a whole lot more complicated because Caulfield is harboring a guilty secret. Sala's characters are well realized and vivid, but the novel is tainted by the author's cloying moralism.