When Keely Bennett's world is shattered by the suicide of her beloved husband, Richard, she and her nine-year-old son Dylan have to start over. Her late husband's childhood friend, Mark Weaver, helps Keely settle Richard's affairs and sweeps her into a whirlwind romance -- and eventually a comfortable suburban lifestyle that includes marriage and a beautiful baby girl.
The darkness that clouded Keely's past has all but vanished. Yet Dylan, now a teenager, remains distant, brooding and resentful of his stepfather and baby sister, Abby. Then history repeats itself, and her life is once again thrown into chaos. But Keely's nightmare is just beginningŠfor the authorities are looking for a murderer, and they already have a prime suspect: Dylan.
Refusing to believe her son is a killer, Keely vows to clear his name. But the prosecutor has a personal stake in seeing Dylan convicted -- and her pleas for help from the police fall on deaf ears. To save her son, Keely must rely on herself. But she is far from alone; someone is watching her every move. When her investigation threatens to uncover a conspiracy of secrets and corruption, she is suddenly plunged into the path of danger -- and into the sights of a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to ensure the truth stays buried forever....
Seamlessly weaving a psychological portrait of the bond between a mother and son with the breathless intrigue of a murder mystery, Not Guilty is a novel that finds Patricia MacDonald at the height of her celebrated powers.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
April 02, 2002
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Not Guilty by Patricia MacDonald
Abby Weaver relinquished her secure hold on the leg of the pine farmhouse table and lurched across the black-and-white checkerboard floor. Reaching her destination, she grasped her mother's leg and gazed back in amazement at the distance she had traveled.
"Well, look at you!" Keely Weaver turned away from the kitchen sink, dried her soapy hands, and bent down to pick up her year-old baby, nuzzling the warm, springy flesh of her cheek. Abby laughed, delighted with herself and with her mother's response.
"What a big girl you're getting to be," said Keely, burying her face in the soft, cotton T-shirt that Abby wore and rubbing her nose against the baby's tummy in a way guaranteed to make Abby squeal with giggles. "Yes, you are. Yes, you are."
"What are my favorite girls up to?" asked Mark Weaver, coming into the kitchen and lifting the baby from her mother's arms. He held his daughter against his chest, the sleeves of his pin-striped business shirt now rolled up, and kissed her over and over again on her sparse, silky hair. "Are you making your mommy laugh?" he asked, looking the baby intently in the eye, and cupping his large, tanned hand around her little head. The gold of his wedding ring glinted in the last rays of the sunset coming in through the wall of windows in their kitchen.
"She's been practicing her freestyle," Keely observed, smiling at the sight of the two of them. Mark was an attorney -- sleek, handsome, and renowned for the intractability of his arguments. But around his baby daughter, he was about as ruthless as a bowl of pudding. Mark was driven about his work, but he changed gears instantly the moment his gaze landed on the fuzzy head and shining eyes of his baby girl. At his office and in the courthouse, people joked about the way he would whip out her picture and insist that they admire the most beautiful baby ever born.
"How could you be walking already?" he asked Abby in wonderment as she poked one of her stubby fingers between his lips. He pretended to chew on it for a moment, then gently enveloped her tiny hand in his. "Next thing you know, you'll be wanting a dress for the prom."
Keely sighed and nodded. "It's true. It'll be here before you know it." Even as she said it, a thought about Dylan dimmed her spirits like a cloud dims the light of the moon.
Seeming to sense the change in her, Mark reached out his free arm and included his wife in the embrace. "That was a great dinner," he said. "I know this is a terribly old-fashioned thing to say, but I love having my family here waiting for me at the end of the day, and a wonderful dinner on the table."
"Meet the Flintstones," Keely said, pretending to be annoyed with him. But Mark was not fooled. He drew her closer and kissed her, to their baby's delight.