Brainwend Kill - Hardcover

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Rydal Keene could peel back layers of sound. He could distinguish cars simply by the roar of their engines. On an early spring day, Rydal heard some classmates playing Marco Polo at the ravine just off the school campus. Less than an hour later, Dr. Nell Walker found a 13-year-old Grainger student floating face down in the ravine, a hideous gash in the back of his head. But a blind boy is not the best witness, especially when the evidence points to his best friend.

Dr. Walker returned to Grainger as the school psychologist. Anxiety, stress, loss, suffering — these are familiar to her. Now the horror of the murder sends Nell spiraling into her own past, reliving the nightmare killings by the man she’d loved. Was she blacking out again? Where had she been when the boy was killed?

Detective Jason Sheffield follows a more traditional approach: he questions teachers and students, hunting for opportunity and motivation. The longer Jason delves into the case, the more he suspects that Nell’s past has jolted her over the edge.

The surprising ending reveals how heavily the dead burdens of the past weigh on the living.