66 pages • 2 hours readAshley Flowers
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Margot is the protagonist of the text, a reporter with connections to the unsolved murder of January Jacobs. As January’s childhood friend and neighbor, she believes that January was murdered by a stranger who targeted her friend by chance, enabling Margot’s survival. This guilt fuels Margot’s belief that she can unravel the mystery of January’s murder and finally bring justice for January and other missing and murdered girls in the Midwest, whose cases Margot believes are all connected.
Struggling with a floundering job and pressing anxiety about her uncle’s dementia, Margot’s investigation creates a sense of direction in life. People around her criticize her for wanting to connect the murder of Natalie Clark with the murder of January, saying that Margot is “blinded by [her] relationship to the January Jacobs case” (65). Margot seems to be the only one that is willing to connect the loose threads of these cases, as she, unlike so many others in town, is not biased against January’s mother. Margot looks past The Veneer of Civility worn by residents of Wakarusa to unearth their secrets, both nefarious and well-meaning. It is precisely her tenacity and relentless pursuit of the truth that finally brings serial killer Elliott Wallace to justice and answers to so many other families.