cover image Behind the Lie

Behind the Lie

Emilya Naymark. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-64385-892-0

At the start of Naymark’s excellent sequel to 2021’s Hide in Place, a block party turns violent in upstate Sylvan, N.Y., where PI Laney Bird, a former NYPD detective, and Alfie, her troubled 15-year-old son, resettled four years earlier. Toward the end of the festivities, Oliver Dubois, the husband of Laney’s friend Holly, uses a neighbor’s pickup truck to smash through the front door of his own home. When Laney hears fire engines, she rushes to a nearby burning house, where the truck’s owner, Step Volkin, is inside bleeding from a gunshot wound. Both Step’s wife, Vera, and Holly go missing, along with Laney’s firearm. When Alfie, who has committed arson in the past, is evasive about his whereabouts at the time of the fire, Laney fears her son has crossed a line. She sets out to find the truth, uncertain whether to conceal or expose it. Naymark hits the rhythms of small-town life perfectly and maintains tension by alternating perspectives. Lisa Unger fans will want to take a look. Agent: Paula Munier, Talcott Notch Literary Services. (Feb.)