THE BOOKS

 

Still Photo

 

Jess Waterford’s mother is evil. Not that it means much to her now, though, since she took off seven years ago–just days after her ninth birthday–without so much as a wave goodbye. And though that means the end of her mother’s mental and physical abuse, the memories and the scars still remain. Jess conceals the hurt within her by practicing her photography, and by spending as much time as her dad will allow with her baseball star boyfriend Brody Campbell.Determined to make use of her new camera, Jess dives into photographing everything in sight. But periodically the resulting prints are flawed – ever so slightly: a block covering the umpire’s leg at one of Brody’s baseball games, a smudge on a tree trunk, a blemish in the bus window. These imperfections are not as random as they may seem, however, and Brody discovers what appears to be a portion of a brick wall in one of them. Then a woman’s hand in another. And in a third, a shoe. They discover together that each of these blocks combine to form another image – the grisly image of a murder scene with Jess’s mother as the victim. As the new photograph takes shape, Jess’s desire to complete it consumes her, and Brody’s health begins to deteriorate. Torn between her quest to reveal her mother’s killer and her continued worry over Brody’s failing health, Jess finally finds the last piece to the puzzle, and the face that fills the void sends her world spiraling into depths from which she may never recover.

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