Guilt can go a long way to destroying relationships both in the past and in the present. Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s lives were changed and torn apart when two men came into where they were sparring, fighting, and as always not really getting along and took the live of their mother, Gamma and shot Samantha in the head but not before taking advantage of Charlie. Forced to comply to the wishes of these two men, taken into the woods at gunpoint with no one to hear their screams of cries a family that was once close was shredded and tattered. The reason for the invasion was these two men were angry with their father who was going to foreclose on their property. A tough defense attorney, hard as nails carried with him not only the death of his wife but much more. This would haunt both Charlotte and Samantha in adulthood as this is the prologue and now 28 years later Charlie as she is called now a lawyer, is working for her father hoping to meet his standards of perfection and be able to call herself The Good Daughter. But, sometimes violence, crimes and disaster have a way of crawling into your life and when Charlie goes to visit her old school for a personal reason, she once again finds herself traumatized and a victim of a killer’s shooting spree. Kelly Wilson is anything but smart and is angry for some reason and decides to take it out on a teacher in the school, Charlotte and even killing the principal in front of his wife. Rusty Quinn is Charlotte’s father and a defense lawyer and is noted for taking the cases of rapists, killers, robbers and others who are high on the crime list. He is hated and considered and someone to steer clear has except if you are guilty and want to hopefully get an acquittal. But, someone is out to get him too and throwing a Molotov cocktail at his home and burns it down. Moving to a farmhouse that Charlotte relishes the sight of each time she has to return there, wearing whatever clothes they have, donated house wares and more donated clothes, the culprits that killed their mother Zach Culpepper and his brother who invaded their home and killed Gamma, buried Samantha alive owed 20 thousand dollars to Rusty for their property and hoped to rob the family.
Reliving the present Charlotte is returning a phone call to a man that she had an affair with and cheated on her husband Ben, who she is estranged from and is a teacher in the school she is visiting, she is talking to him, gunshots in the hallway and then Lucy Alexander, eight years old and the Principal are killed. While Samantha who we meet later on in the present has many surgeries, rehab and moves to New York to practice patent law. First on the scene and running towards danger she gets smacked in the face with the belligerent and violent police officers that break her nose, hurt her face and she is in need of medical care but ignores her injuries. She’s on a mission and it seems like one of self-destruction as once again she blames herself for the deaths. Witnessing this mass school shooting having to deal with Ben, her husband in the DA’s office and her sister who might be able to help her will she realize that she can no longer do this alone. Added in her father takes the case of the killer and as we meet Kelly and her mother Ava we realize that their IQ’s don’t quite add up to 80.
Ben and Charlotte are on the outs for nine months and this plays on her mind as they connect for a short hour and although she wants to rekindle their marriage for some reason he steers clear and does not trust her at all. Her mother always said do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Charlotte is smart, astute, and combative and does not back down and even resorts to putting down Ben and others that dare to question her. The story flashes back to the prologue again as she relives the death of her mother, her sister’s words to her and their final fate. This time the scenes are more graphic as you hear the two brothers and the person who finally comes to their rescue. Samantha’s birthday has come up and her father wishes her a great day and sends love from Charlotte but will they ever reunite? Samantha survived and rose above brain damage, is a patent attorney in New York while Charlotte despite the memories is still in Pikeville fighting for her own identity and life while married to ADA Ben Benard. But, the affair she had with a history teacher and confronts the teacher for the cell phone she left behind reliving the first shooting as Kelly Wilson admits that she shot Douglas Pinkman the Principal of the school and little Lucy. But, her father will defend her and much to the chagrin of Charlotte, Sam is the second chair. Sam as you hear her voice told her sister to leave their hometown and live her life somewhere else but Charlie stayed but in a sense has been running away in a different way from her memories and making it hard for them to even be in the same room even in the present.
Questioned by the police, the detectives and even her father, she begins to question the sequence of the shots, how many were fired and when? Charlie starts to second-guess herself about what really happened? Charlie seems unsure of everything and although she is working on this case her mind reverts back to the past.
Samantha and Charlie are at opposite points in their relationship but when Samantha learns about the school shooting and receives a text from Ben that her sister needs her she stops herself cold and flies to her hometown. But, in between we relive the prologue again, we hear Samantha warning Charlie to run for her life so that she can have one including children and a family of her own but things do not pan out they way they both hoped. Samantha loses her husband who created her position in the patent company, left her well off so that she can hire drivers and have her own plane to travel, yet she is down to earth and when arriving in her hometown what will her reception be?
Samantha learns as Charlie does the meaning of family loyalties, betrayals and lies and secrets that have been kept hidden which plague both of them in the present. When the author once again reverts back to the past and we relive what really happened to Charlie what we learn is a secret that she was sworn to keep and never tell. Why? Families often hide things that will taint their reputations and when Rusty is stabbed by someone close to the murders of both Lucy and the Principal and a video reveals it all just who was behind the deaths in the school and why? What role was Kelly forced to play as she was manipulated by a maniacal and diabolical killer who had it all planned out from the beginning but never expected Charlie to interfere in the master plan as Samantha takes center stage at the trial and her skills are superior to that of the other lawyer and her defense and knowledge of the law impeccable. But, what will be the final ruling when the judge bangs his gavel on his podium? Who will be charged as a startling confession is made and a horrific reality comes face to face with a victim. Charlie needs to learn to move ahead and stop being so angry and hateful. Samantha needs to learn to accept others for who and what they are. When Rusty’s fate is unfortunately sealed, hidden documents are found in his home and a startling truth is uncovered as both Charlie and Samantha strong in their own ways even with his death new, still strive and hope to be THE GOOD DAUGHTER!