Luisa, a renowned mystery writer, is beginning her new novel, a story of psychological suspense that centers on the suspicious death of a child at an elite private day school. The author has a close familiarity with her setting: her thirteen-year-old daughter, Elba, is about to begin her academic year at the same school that Luisa once attended, a school much like the one in the novel.
But as her work progresses, the line between art and life begins to blur. Deeply repressed anxieties bubble to the surface, and she worries not only for her daughter's well-being but also for her own. As her new novel unfolds, events on the page ring with a disturbing familiarity—a troubling symmetry that is compounded when Luisa runs into two former classmates whose children also attend the school. The unexpected meeting brings to light a gruesome event the three shared.
When Elba is implicated in the accidental death of a classmate, past and present, real life and fiction, become one. Convinced that her novel has set in motion an unspeakable horror, Luisa must find a way to stop it—before everything she loves is lost.