Dr Claire Elliot and her son Noah are trying to make it in their new hometown of Tranquility, Maine. Having moved after the slow decay and final demise of her husband Peter, Claire hopes to save her son from the dark road he has been heading down and to ensure his separation from the wrong crowd. She starts up her practice in Tranquility, which is a summer town. She had a steady flow of patients when the tourists were in, but is saddened to find she has virtually no local ones after the people from away go home.
Claire is trying to make things work and garner the respect of the small town, but is having extreme difficulties. Soon a rash outbreak of anger and violence takes a hold from the teenagers, and the sleepy town has no idea how to deal with it. Police Chief Lincoln Kelly is being dragged in for all sorts of silly things. The fistfights and scuffles are soon what people wish they were dealing with when the violence bursts and escalates to murder: there are young teenagers and children killing people in fits of rage. Soon reporters are rolling in from across the country when a young boy shoots up his Biology class and ultimate kills his teacher.
Reporter Damaris Horne begins the vicious cycle of Satanic and devil worship rumours, blaming the anger and bitterness on them. Claire and Lincoln start to work together more and more frequently, and so get to know each other. They seem to keep each other somewhat at bay, but something is boiling up beneath the surface. The town refuses to accept Claire, but things get worse when she is positive that the root of the teenagers and their problems is an issue with the lake, something out there is reacting badly with the kids. The town is outraged, and Claire suffers from severe vandalism.
Noah is angry all the time, and has been for ages. He is bitter and resentful but ultimately a decent kid. He falls for Amelia Reid, a young girl that goes to school with him, though she has an awful brother named J.D. The violence in the town continues to grow worse, and Noah is fighting back with people because it is all he knows how to do. But some more research shows that this is not an isolated incident, and occurred decades before as well, almost identically to the present predicament. What is causing the violence in Tranquility, Maine? Will the murders continue? Will the anger continue to escalate to terrible proportions? Will Lincoln be able to get his town back under control? Why is history repeating itself?
This was a pretty entertaining read with some decent characters and an interesting premise. I liked how Claire moved to a town and her fresh start got completely marred by everything and everyone around her. Noah was also enigmatic to a certain extent, though he is just your average hormonal teenager. Lincoln proved to be the one character that had a little more emotional backing than the others. I wish she had given the rest of the characters some more depth. I felt pity for Warren Emerson , he had an incredibly sad and lonely life due to a horrific occurrence years before. Gerritsen kept me guessing for a while there as to why the kids were not alright, but I had a suspicion it was going to be explained away medically. She is a doctor, after all, and writes medical thrillers more often than not. It was an enjoyable read for me, though I felt at about the three quarter way point the story just got a bit much and lost the momentum it had garnered. Worth looking into though if you enjoy reading Tess Gerritsen’s work.