Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (July 1, 2019)
Book descriptionIn FALSE STEP (Lake Union; on-sale July 1st, 2019), the latest novel from bestselling author Victoria Helen Stone, Veronica Bradley has the perfect life: a good job as an occupational therapist; a gorgeous and doting personal-trainer husband, Johnny; and a bubbly 10-year old daughter, Sydney. Together with their dog, Old Man, the family enjoys hikes in the nearby mountains outside Denver. Sure, there are strains in their domestic life—they don’t always have a lot of money, and Veronica worries that Johnny may have a wandering eye. Still, by all appearances, they are a happy and thriving family.
But the tensions simmering under the surface of Veronica’s marriage become harder to contain when Johnny becomes a local hero overnight. Hiking Flat Rock Trail with Old Man one day, he finds a young boy, scared and alone but miraculously unharmed. It turns out to be Tanner Holcomb, the missing three-year-old who, four days earlier, wandered off his prominent and well-to-do family’s massive compound, putting all of Denver on high alert. Now, all is well: Tanner can go home, and Johnny is immediately praised as a hero—which won’t hurt prospects for his struggling personal-training business, either.
Johnny, always eager for attention, seems entirely comfortable in the spotlight. But as news cameras camp out on the Bradleys’ lawn and Johnny’s rowdy friends celebrate his heroic act, Veronica can’t shake the feeling that her husband’s notoriety might do the family more harm than good. For starters, the fame might well be going to Johnny’s head—since the rescue, he’s been spending more time with friends like the no-good Trey Swallow, and whispering about risky plans with Neesa Martin, his beautiful, toned business partner. And Veronica, meanwhile, has secrets of her own. Will the stress of all the scrutiny drive Veronica and Johnny apart, or force them to confront their mutual deceptions once and for all? As Johnny becomes more and more distant, Veronica imagines the worst, and their already faltering marriage begins to show signs of irreversible damage.
When the shocking news breaks that Tanner did not wander off, but was in fact kidnapped for ransom, Veronica panics. Johnny couldn’t have been involved—or could he? When the police show up at her door, it’s clear that Veronica’s perfect life is about to unravel. What is Johnny hiding, and might it implicate her? Does it involve Trey? Or Neesa? And what would it take for Veronica to admit defeat and leave behind the trappings of her storybook marriage once and for all?
In FALSE STEP, Victoria Helen Stone once again crafts a compelling, suspenseful tale full of unexpected twists. Even as Veronica’s secrets threaten to consume her, other dangers emerge from places she never would have imagined. An empowering story of a woman’s grit under extraordinary circumstances, this riveting novel will make readers question their assumptions from start to finish.
Meet the author - Victoria Helen StoneVictoria Helen Stone, formerly writing as USA Today bestselling novelist Victoria Dahl, was born and raised in the flattest parts of the Midwest. Now that she’s escaped the plains of her youth, she writes dark suspense from an upstairs office high in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. She enjoys summer trail hikes with her family almost as much as she enjoys staying inside during the winter. Since leaving the lighter side of fiction, she has written the critically acclaimed, bestselling novels Evelyn, After; Half Past; and Jane Doe. For more on the author and her work, visit www.VictoriaHelenStone.com and www.VictoriaDahl.com.