by Catherine Anderson.
Signet paperback, 421 pages. 2006.
Ever since Rachel Hollister recovered from the attack that left her in a coma and her entire family dead, she has had a deep fear of going outside. For five long years, she has existed inside a double boarded-up home, living full time inside the large kitchen area with her only connection to the outside, a double-doored crawl space where supplies are sent back and forth. The only person she hears from and who helps her is the ranch’s foreman and good friend, Darby. Darby is 70 now, but ever faithful. Rachel was 17 when she and her family and even the pet dog were fired upon without warning and killed. She was left for dead and the killer never found. They had been on a picnic, her mother, father, younger brother and younger sister and to this day, no one knows why it happened.
Now Darby turns up shot in the back at the same location and Joseph Paxton, their neighbor, promises he will protect Rachel. So, he breaks into the house and approaches inside the darkened house to the kitchen barricade and calls out to her, barely missing the shotgun blast that comes thru the door. Rachel has fired, thinking at long last the killer has come to finish her off. Joseph manages to eventually assure her, sleeping in the dining room outside the damaged door to the kitchen and a pattern of his staying near her and his brother spelling him from time to time begins.
But as time goes by, they get to know and really like one another and he ends up, slowly but surely, opening up the outside world a little to her. However, it is only a matter of time until the killer is back.
Amazing story all centered around the unusual life Rachel has made for herself. Who could this killer be and why has that person done such a foul deed? Interesting chart at the start of the story so you can keep track of this large family and ancestors. Wonderful characters.