cover image Those Empty Eyes

Those Empty Eyes

Charlie Donlea. Kensington, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2717-6

In 2013, when Alexandra Quinlan, the appealing heroine of this excellent thriller from Donlea (Summit Lake), was 17, she hid as her parents and 13-year-old brother were murdered by an intruder in their McIntosh, Va., home. Alexandra earned the nickname Empty Eyes as she was led out of her family’s house in shock; the name stuck after she was arrested for the murders. Her case never went to trial, and she later won millions in a defamation lawsuit. Hounded by true-crime fanatics and unscrupulous tabloids, she changed her name to Alex Armstrong. In 2023, Alex works in Washington, D.C., as a legal investigator for Garrett Lancaster, the lawyer who won her defamation lawsuit and always believed her to be innocent. Alex’s latest case involves Matthew Claymore, a business major at McCormack University who is suspected in his girlfriend Laura McAllister’s disappearance. A student journalist, Laura was working on a major story about rape on McCormack’s campus. The engrossing plot leads Alex to the university’s faculty and fraternities, to the über-rich and well connected, as well as links to her own family’s murder. This searing look at the legal system, entitlement, and exploitation is not to be missed. Agent: Marlene Stringer, Stringer Lit. (Apr.)