Living up to the expectations and standards of another person is what drives Steph Reece. Even through high school She feverishly worked to become what someone else expected her to be. Courses added and extra curricular activities too she managed to become what this person wanted and created a member of an elite group she was now a Winner. Steph, Eric, Becky, Lydia and Autumn to name a few were admitted to this elite club or group headed by Bob Fiske their revered and respected English Teacher.
As you meet all of these people now adults you learn about their pasts, insecurities and secrets they want buried and undisclosed. When Becky Brindle sends a message to this group that their favorite teacher has gone missing they rally into action and come up with a plan to find him at all costs.
Getting to know Steph and her husband Doug you realize that their marriage might be strained. Steph is obsessed with finding this man and then when Autumn, Lydia’s sister is reported missing too some jump to conclusions that Fiske who had a relationship with her apart from school had something to do with it.
As the group meets they learn that Autumn is missing and her mother Jane has joined the sears and interfered in the group. Demanding they involve the police brings in detective Wright who’s anything but friendly or amicable as we later learn. An Amber Alert for Autumn Brockert and this was just the beginning as things started to go in different directions as Steph became more obsessed with finding Fiske then with her job to promote companies and leaving her children with their fl grandmother. As the story progresses we learn that Becky leaked info to Eric about Steph’s marriage and then Steph realizes where Fiske might be leaving caution to the wind as she, Eric, Doug, Becky and Lydia go in search of finding Fiske not realizing that they were being followed and the events that come changes it all as someone is killed, a suicide note is found and author Jeff Bond gives readers an inside look at Eric’s past and the book he wrote that causes him to realize who’s behind the murder, what happened to Fiske and Autumn but will he relate it to Steph or will detective Wright and the police get him first?
When Steph does the presentation for Gordon Foods things go well but Doug calls with some trivial matter and yet she might realize that something was not right and what Eric relates to her could destroy her life and change it all but-will she buy in to his words?
Fiske is found and someone is dead plus Autumn is still missing but evidence that she was with Fiske is found but is she alive?
As Steph tries to process what she’s learned, Doug seems to be dealing with their children and home live but sometimes things are deceptive and whom can she trust?
Things get out of hand and a newscaster does a story and Steph and Eric and someone else have to run for their lives as her children are in danger and the truth behind Fiske‘s cabin revealed as Eric tells how he found pieces of the charred manuscript behind Fiske’s cabin as a harsh reality and betrayal comes to the forefront.
But, not everything turns in the direction Steph hopes for and lies are revealed and deceptions are high but in the end just who orchestrated the plot to frame anyone in their path? The body count rises and Steph has to decide who to trust as author Jeff Bond takes readers on a chase to the finish line as the key to the murders and the reason why someone wants to destroy Steph comes out.
It all stems from the past and a death at her senior prom as Steph takes a step back to the past hears the words from someone else as her life will change and the manuscript revealed a lie told years before that hung over her for so ling and the reason for a disconnection between her and Fiske comes out but who else was involved and who else would fall at the hands of someone who used two girls for his sick perverse wants and needs. When Steph comes face to face with truth will she and Eric prove it all or will they be the next victims as planned?
An ending that will unravel the past and how a novel would impact the present. One person lost when standing up for ethics morals and truths while others might pay for the untruths that were told and believed.
Some conclusions bring unusual beginnings but will the scars remain?
A group of young high school students who hung on the words of one man and learn a hidden past about him that would create a downward spiral of tragic events making Steph and other’s deciding on what was next. Hope tragedy disbelief and a plot so well conceived in the mind of a killer that you wonder if the had to relive it again if they want to be part of the elite group called the Winners. Mr Bob Fiske why did his approval matter to Steph and why couldn’t she see that she was one without hearing him says it? Students are quite impressionable and all too often the words of an educator can increase the ability to want to strive to be the best to please this person or discourage them because they cannot meet their expectations. This novel brings this issue to light and what happens when a parent does not think his/her child meets the muster and other children rise to the occasion of what a parent wants. It also brings to mind what happens when self-esteem and self-worth comes into play when one person waits and waits to hear the words of approval of someone while others strive to put her down. Will Steph and her group of Winners remain in need of accolades or will they realize that they are Winners?
Fran Lewis; Just Reviews: MJ network/MJ Magazine