By Thomas Tessier
Money may be the root of all evil… but in the respectable community of Clearville there is a greater evil abroad.
The first incident is a suicide: a young wife who cannot have children. The second is more bizarre—a God-fearing father butchers his family before turning a gun on himself. And then a well-respected accountant simply disappears. But dark secrets abound in this prosperous town, for behind the shuttered windows of the middle-class homes lies a network of depravity and vice.
While babysitting for her neighbors’ child, seventeen-year old Heidi stumbles across photographs from illicit sex sessions. Instead of going to the police, Heidi and her boyfriend Gary decide to exploit the crime for avaricious purposes, unaware of the magnitude of the horror and tragedy that will result from their blackmail. As they become greedier, suspicion and fear—like poison—corrode the heart of Clearville, and violence and retribution inevitably follow.
Very soon, Heidi and Gary are trapped in a situation which is hurtling crazily out of control—the blackmailers are now the hunted, and family and old friends are no longer what they seem to be. Suddenly the people they grew up with, and knew all their lives, have become secret strangers…