cover image Real Bad Things

Real Bad Things

Kelly J. Ford. Thomas & Mercer, $15.95 trade paper (364p) ISBN 978-1-6625-0009-1

At the start of this gripping suspense novel from Ford (Cottonmouths), Jane Mooney, who’s been living in Boston, returns home to Maud Bottoms, Ark., after human remains are discovered in a lock chamber off the Arkansas River. Everyone assumes the remains are those of Warren Ingram, Jane’s stepfather. Twenty-five years earlier, when Jane was 17, she confessed to killing Warren, but since no body was found, she wasn’t charged with his murder. Now, Jane waits for her inevitable arrest. Meanwhile, a police detective, Benjamin Hampton, delves into the case and sees irregularities. Hampton begins to suspect that Jane is innocent, that others may have been involved, and that she might have confessed to protect the real culprit. As Jane reconnects with her brother and close friends from her past, she learns that matters weren’t as she believed at the time and that her thoughts about what transpired the night of the murder may have been wrong. The truth slowly unfolds as the plot builds toward a surprising conclusion foreshadowed by a trail of skillfully disguised clues. Ford delivers the goods. Agent: Chris Bucci, Aevitas Creative. (July)