Main / Books / A Good Marriage / Summary

A Good Marriage

Recap & Book Summary



The Quick Recap and Section-by-Section Summary for A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight are below. Spoiler warning: these summaries contains spoilers.

For a non-spoiler version of the plot synopsis, see The Bibliofile's review of A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight.

Quick(-ish) Recap

The book switches around from points of view / timelines and is interspersed with transcripts of grand jury testimony.

Lizzie Kitsakis is a criminal defense attorney who gets a call from a guy she used to know from law school, Zach Grayson, who is now a wealthy entrepreneur. Zach has been arrested without bail for the murder of his young, beautiful wife, Amanda. He wants Lizzie to represent him. There was a annual key party (partner-swapping sex party) that is hosted by one of Amanda's friends, Maude Lagueux, and Amanda was found dead afterwards. Lizzie begins to investigate by visiting the crime scene and asking a private investigator friend, Millie, to help. They find a print in the blood.

Before her death, Amanda was in charge of running Zach's foundation, which her friend Sarah handles the finances for. Amanda has also lately been getting a bunch of hang-up calls which Amanda fears is her father, who raped her repeatedly growing up. She finds a bouquet of lilacs with no name left for her from him as well. Amanda also gets a call from the foundation's accountant wanting to meet with her on an urgent matter, but she forgets about the meeting.

Meanwhile, at the private school where Amanda and her friends send their kids, there has been a hacking incident over the past few months where families of students have been subjected to phishing and hacking attacks to steal data off their computers and blackmail them. Maude and Sarah are both targeted. Maude is especially upset over her 15-year-old daughter being blackmailed into performing sex acts on camera.

Lizzie initially suspects Amanda's father is responsible, but discovers that he is dead. Amanda also has talked about a friend, Carolyn, who is dead as well. Amanda seems to have delusions about them both still being alive, likely due to her unresolved trauma from her childhood.

(There's a lot more details that points the blame at potentially Lizzie husband, Sam, or Maude's husband, Sebe, but all of these are red herrings. See the Section-by-Section Summary for all the details.)

When Lizzie contacts Zach's accountant to pay Millie, she learns that Zach is broke. (When Lizzie tries to quit, Zach blackmails her with a secret she kept from her boss about her financial troubles due to her husband Sam's drinking.) The accountant also says that Sarah was very stressed out about potentially losing her job. Lizzie soon learns from her boss's secretary, Gloria, that Sarah's husband Kerry is the Gloria's former boss. Kerry was working at Lizzie's firm before she got there. Lizzie learns that he was fired for harassing legal assistants.

Millie's analysis determines that Maude's prints are the ones at the crime scene. Lizzie confronts Maude who admits that she was at Amanda's house because she suspected Zach was responsible for the blackmail. Maude says she heard Amanda fall from the stairs and saw a tall man in red sneakers run out the door. Lizzie finds out from Sarah that Kerry wears red sneakers. She also confirms with the flower delivery boy that Kerry was the one who left the lilacs for Amanda (and likely made the calls as well).

Kerry is apprehended. In his statement, he explains that the death was an accident. He wanted to comfort her, but she flipped out and started hitting him and fell down the stairs. Lizzie gets Zach to admit he was responsible for the blackmail on a recording. (Attorney-client privilege doesn't cover on-going crimes, so Lizzie is free to report him for that federal crime.) Sam goes to rehab.

If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ($1, $2, or $4) or joining the Patreon!


Section-by-Section Summary

Prologue

The book opens with someone who is in solitary confinement (in prison) stating that they are going to explain how they got there.

July 6, Zach Calls Lizzie

Lizzie Kitsakis, a defense attorney, gets a call from a law school classmate, Zach Grayson, who she hasn’t heard from in many years. Zach is a wealthy entrepreneur. He started a successful logistics startup, ZAG Inc., that he sold. Zach says he has been imprisoned at Rikers and needs representation. He’s been denied bail. He’s accused of assaulting a police officer. It happened after he came home and found his wife, Amanda, dead at the bottom of the stairs. Lizzie says she’s not the right lawyer for this, with limited experience in criminal law and representing mostly white-collar criminals, but Zach insists that she come see him.

Grand Jury Testimony (Lucy Delgado)

Lucy Delgado is asked about the “Sleepaway Soiree” (a annual partner swapping party) that she attended, hosted by a woman named Maude Lagueux. Lucy testifies that she saw Amanda Grayson and that she seemed upset. Lucy also saw Maude arguing angrily with her huband Sebe.

Six Days Before the Sleepaway Soiree

Six days before the Sleepaway Soiree, Amanada chats with her friend Sarah Novak. Sarah is happily married to her husband Kerry, who she has three children with. Amanda and Sarah both have sons (Case and Henry, respectively) in the same school, which is how they met. Amanda’s son Case is off at camp at the moment. Amanda and Zach moved from Palo Alto, CA to Park Slope not too long ago. Both Amanda and Zach come from humble means. Sarah asks Amanda to go to a PTA meeting about a recent privacy breach at the school.

July 7, Visiting Zach at Rikers

Lizzie goes to see Zach at Rikers. Zach explains the incident with cop that resulted in the assault charge. It was an accident, but the cops had likely been looking for an excuse to arrest him because he’s a homicide suspect. Lizzie instructs him not to talk about the homicide because these conversations aren’t secure, but he tells her about finding his wife bludgeoned with a golf club that he admits is his.

Lizzie recalls befriending Zach in law school, telling him about how she planned to go into public interest work. She wanted to protect people due to her family history. Lizzie’s parents had been hardworking immigrants, running a diner, who were defrauded when she was 16. Her father invested a large sum of borrowed money that vanished and soon their restaurant was foreclosed on. Lizzie lost them soon after and had to move in with her aunt.

After law school, Lizzie had ended up at prosecutor at the US attorney’s office. However, she left to do high-paying work for financial reasons. Her husband Sam’s alcoholism cause a number of problems that led to him getting fired from his job as a writer at Men’s Health. It was followed by Sam getting into a car accident, including damage that wasn’t covered by insurance (due to drunk driving). She ended up getting a job at her current firm because it paid more. But in order to get it she omitted information about the debts because law firms don’t like hiring people who are in financial trouble because it can subject them to undue influence.

Back at home, Lizzie sees Sam sleeping. She thinks about how he needs high-quality rehab, but they can’t afford his. His parents are very wealthy and from old money, but Sam refuses to ask them for money. His strained relationship with his father is likely the source of his alcoholism. His father had wanted him to be a cutthroat, corporate-raider type person, but Sam had ended up being creative and kind instead.

Lizzie also does some research on Amanda, seeing that Zach had married someone who was hauntingly beautiful and quite young.

Data Breach Investigation

There’s an document about the evaluation of the data breach at Brooklyn Country Day.

Six Days Before the Sleepaway Soiree

Amanda has been getting strange hang-up phone calls, and she fears someone from her past has finally found her. She goes to the PRA meeting at Sarah’s house. Sarah’s husband Kerry, a lawyer, is there too. At the meeting, Sarah explains that the school has hired a company to evaluate the breach, but the details of the investigation are confidential. Sarah gives the parents a tipline number to report anything they know.

Young & Crane

Lizzie talks to the partner she works under, Paul Hastings, about Zach’s case. Despite her reluctance, Paul tells her to take on the case. Lizzie goes to the Brooklyn Criminal Court to find Adam Rothstein, Zach’s public defender. Adam promises to get her the files. Zach also warns her that Zach has an outstanding warrant from a noise violation from his years back in Pennsylvania that should probably be dealt with too.

Grand Jury Testimony (Beatrice Cohen)

Beatrice Cohen testifies that she saw Kerry Tanner at the Sleepaway Soiree. She also testifies about seeing Amanda arrive at 9:00 PM with a man Beatrice didn’t recognize.

Five Days Before the Sleepaway Soiree

Amanda continues to worry about the phone calls and has a nightmare involving her friend, Carolyn. Carolyn is from Amanda’s hometown and lives in Manhattan now.

Amanda recalls meeting Zach eleven years ago. She was 18 when Zach walked in the Bishop Motel, where she was working. He’d ended up there after hiking in the Adirondacks as a post-grad school trip. When invited her to go with him to California, she accepted, eager to escape her life in St. Colomb Falls where she had grown up in trailer parks. Amanda feels insecure over not being college-educated.

Amanda feels grateful for the friendship of Sarah and Maude. They talk about the upcoming party, and Maude explains that she and Sebe host it because they have an open relationship. However, Maude is worried about her 15-year-old daughter Sophia finding out, so this will be the last time they have the party. Maude also admits that she and Seb have been fighting over how protective of Sophia they should be. Sarah and Maude also bug Amanda about the fact that neither of them have met Zach yet. Sarah also tells them about a secret, that she cheated once (made out with Henry’s soccer coach), but has since come clean with Kerry about it.

Data Breach Investigation

A progress report on the data breach investigation shows a series of hacks with a major intrusion on April 30, revealing sensitive data. Two families reported issues. One family (Family #0005) received a demand for $20K or else they would publicly release information about the husband’s use of Terry’s Bench (a dating site for married individuals). Another family (Family #0006) received a demand for $20 or else the hacker(s) would reveal information about pornography found on their computer.

July 7, Investigating Zach’s Home

At home, Lizzie doesn’t know where Sam is. She recalls the party where she met him. He’d been working for the New York Times at the time. Now, she searches the room for clues to where he might be. She’s worried that he’s out drinking when she sees the website for a bar called Enid’s on his computer screen. When he finally calls, he claims to have been at home writing all day, with a break to go to the post office. Lizzie doesn’t know what to believe. Later that night, she finds a woman’s earring in Sam’s messenger bag.

Lizzie chats with the Brooklyn DA’s office, trying to get information out of them. She speaks to Steve Granz about Zach’s case, and he mentions a Key Party (sex party) component to the murder that Lizzie didn’t know about. Lizzie then goes to check out Zach’s house for clues on his case. She wonders why he didn’t mention his outstanding warrant. At his house, she hears a loud crash and what sounds like someone going out the back door. Lizzie immediately reports it to the police. Two officers show up and take some fingerprints, but since nothing is missing they warn that it’s unlikely to be a priority.

Lizzie hires Millie, a family friend she knows from childhood who is a former police officer, to come investigate. Millie checks out the scene and plans on hiring their own team to come check it for prints. Millie also needs to talk to Lizzie about something, but Lizzie asks her to hold off until she deals with some of this stuff. Lizzie also investigates the house more and finds some of Amanda’s diaries as well as an ovulation kit. The diaries mention something about Amanda being raped by a boy named Christopher.

Zach calls from Rikers and Lizzie informs him that she’s accepted the case and is going to try to get him out on bail tomorrow morning. Lizzie asks him about the warrant from many years back and he admits that it was for loitering. He had felt it was unfair so he hadn’t paid it which he realizes now was probably a mistake.

He tells Lizzie about Amanda’s friends, Sarah and Maude. Also that Amanda ran the scholarship foundation (Hope First Foundation) that he started, where Sarah also works. He also says that Amanda had said she was infertile after Case’s birth (but Lizzie wonders if it was true or not).

Grand Jury Testimony (Max Caldwell)

Max testifies that she saw Zach Grayson at the Sleepaway Soiree. He says he was talking to some woman who was mad that her husband was on Terry’s Bench, but Zach was trying to get out of the conversation by saying he needed to leave. Zach left the party at 9:35.

July 8, Lizzie Meets Sarah

After reading more of Amanda’s diary, Lizzie learns that Amanda’s father had also raped her repeatedly. Steve Ganz also leaves a message saying that the prosecutor for Zach’s case is Wendy Wallace, which is apparently not good news. Wendy is a potential candidate for D.A. and needs the name recognition of a big case.

Lizzie goes to the offices of the Hope First Foundation to see Sarah. Sarah recommends talking to Carolyn and tells Lizzie about the recent hacking problem. Sarah also confirms that Amanda was very sweet and a great mother.

Four Days Before the Sleepaway Soiree

Carolyn, an advertising executive, drops by Amanda’s place. Amanda tells Carolyn about the dream she’s been having where she’s searching for Case in the woods with blood on her hands. She says that Carolyn is in it, too. In the dream, they’re sitting on a bed eating pizza, and Amanda is in a peach dress while Carolyn is in a seafoam dress. Carolyn thinks her subconscious is just worried that sending Case off to camp was a bad idea. She recognizes the other scene in Amanda’s dream as being from junior prom.

Amanda also says that she thinks this guy is following her. Carolyn tells Amanda to get a restraining order. After Carolyn leaves, Amanda is scared when she finds a bouquet of lilacs outside her door. Amanda goes to the police to get a restraining order against her father. However, she has difficulty talking about what he did to her, so they don’t think she has a compelling case. She recalls a conversation when she wanted to talk to Zach about it, but it was clear he didn’t want to deal with her baggage.

Amanda goes home to find Maude sitting on her stoop. Maude is upset over her daughter, Sophia.

Grand Jury Testimony (Officer David Finnegan)

Officer Finnegan, the man who was accidentally injured by Zach, testifies about the incident. In his testimony, he explains that another officer had been trying to move Zach away from the body, and Zach jerked his arm away which ended up hitting Officer Finnegan.

July 8, Lizzie Meets Maude and Seb

Lizzie goes to Maude’s house to talk to Maude and Seb. Maude tells Lizzie that she is Zach’s alibi and that she and Zach had been sleeping together when Amanda died. Maude says he left her place around 2:00 AM.

Later, Lizzie stops by a deli where she sees a pack of matches from Enids. When she asks about them, they guy says the place closed down (implying that Sam wasn’t at this bar drinking yesterday the way Lizzie had suspected).

Grand Jury Testimony (Detective Robert Mendez)

Detective Mendez testifies that Zach was defensive and argumentative after the body of his wife was found. He says that Zach seemed more angry than upset and there was no blood on Zach. Mendez believes Zach must’ve changed clothes, but admits they haven’t located that clothing.

Data Breach Investigation

The family being threatened with having pornography revealed (Family #0006) wants the investigating body (Krell Industries) to help in assessing the data the hacker found. At first they say it’s outside the scope of their work, but when she threatens to sue to school, Krell recommends that they simply comply with the request.

July 9, Emergency Writ Hearing

Lizzie arrives for Zach’s emergency writ hearing (to try to get him out on bail). Lizzie realizes that Wendy is Paul’s ex-wife, which is likely why Paul wanted to take the case. The prosecution (Wendy) has now amended the indictment to include the homicide. During the hearing, Wendy also mentions something about Amanda Grayson having an extra-marital affair. Ultimately, to Zach’s financial resources, the court denies bail so Zach must stay at Rikers until the trial.

Afterwards, Maude (who attended the hearing) demands to know why Lizzie didn’t mention Zach’s alibi (her and Zach sleeping together), but Lizzie tells her that the alibi complicates things. Vic, one of Lizzie’s friends from law school, also calls and reminds Lizzie of how weird Zach had been in law school. Lizzie had been hanging out with Zach, but he’d gotten the idea that they were dating or close to it. So, Lizzie had lied about having a fake boyfriend, “Richard”, in order to deter him. They’d stopped speaking after that.

Back at home, Lizzie reads more of Amanda’s journal and finds out that Amanda believed her father had come to Brookyln. Lizze also confronts Sam about the earring she found. Sam doesn’t know whose it is since he blacked out that night. It was a night where he’d hit his head and ended up in the hospital. He found the earring in his pocket.

Three Days Before the Sleepaway Soiree

Amanda gets a phone call from the Foundation’s accountant, Teddy Buckley. Amanda keeps saying that Sarah handles the finances, but Teddy insists he needs to speak with her directly on an important matter. They schedule a meeting for the next morning.

Later that night is Kerry’s birthday party. Amanda promises to bring Zach, but she doesn’t even bother asking him (she knows Zach will say no) and shows up alone. Sarah gives Amanda a hard time about it, saying that Amanda has no voice in her marriage.

Data Breach Investigation

Family #0016 is being blackmailed, for $20,000, with threatening to make public information about debts they owe.

In terms of the investigation, there’s two persons of interest. Person of Interest A’s son was expelled for bad behavior last year and expressed a desire to retaliate. Person of Interest B is a former employee. He was fired as the soccer coach and promised to “hurt” the school.

Grand Jury Testimony (Kenneth Jameson)

Kenneth Jameson is a crime scene analyst for the NYPD. He confirms that Amanda died from being hit repeatedly with a golf club.

July 10, Confronting Zach

The next day, Lizzie tells Zach about the murder charge. She also presses him for more details about the loitering warrant, but he gets upset. She also asks him more about Amanda, including her maiden name, which Zach says is “Lynch”. Zach also says he’s never met Carolyn and doesn’t know who she is. Finally, Zach says that he wasn’t with Maude that night and they’d never even spoken. He called the police well before midnight so there’s no way he could’ve been with her until two A.M. He suggests that Maude is confused.

Afterwards, Lizzie speaks to the guard who informs her that all the times Zach has been injured at Rikers isn’t from being assaulted. Instead, he’s been banging his head against the wall.

Lizzie is perplexed by what the guard tells her, so she goes back in to talk to Zach again. She accuses him of causing the injuries himself and he admits it’s true. When she tries to withdrawal from the case, he threatens to tell her firm that she omitted information about Sam’s debts on her disclosure firms when she began working at her firm. Lizzie doesn’t know how Zach learned about this.

At work, Lizzie chats with a paralegal, Thomas, who mentions that he once got a partner at their firm fired. He came across an envelope that the partner had with compromising photos of a female legal assistant, clearly taken surreptitiously. Thomas reported it, and Paul insisted that they get rid of the partner.

Later, Lizzie begins trying to identify who Amanda’s father is based on her hometown and last name. She identifies Xavier Lynch as the most likely person. Lizzie then goes to Wendy to demand that they investigate him, however, Wendy refuses. After Lizzie tells her about the evidence from Amanda’s journals against her father, Wendy simply says that she plans to subpoena them (e.g. take them away) but has no intention of doing any investigation.

Grand Jury Testimony (Taylor Pellstein)

Taylor works for Zach as his assistant and is subpoenaed to testify (e.g. required by law, not voluntarily). She testifies that she had an extended affair with Zach though it didn’t mean anything, as he reminded her many times.

Two Days Before the Sleepaway Soiree

Amanda accidentally forgets about the meeting with the accountant and feels badly about it. She also sees Zach’s office door open and takes a look around. She looks through the files about Case and sees three e-mails from the headmaster asking to talk about something urgent via conference calls where it seems Zach has not responded to. Amanda handles all the school stuff so she thinks it’s a clerical error that resulted in Zach being sent these e-mails.

Amanda meets up with Sarah and Maude at Blue Bottle Coffee. Maude is upset over letters from Sophia. Apparently, Sophia sent some naked photos to some guy she knew. The hackers got into one of their computers that had that data, and now they are threatening to expose those photographs. Amanda also mentions to Sarah that she just found out about some meetings the school had requested via conference calls that hadn’t been responded to. She wonders if she should be concerned, but Sarah assures Amanda that if it was truly urgent, they would have called her or something.

Data Breach Investigation

The investigation reveals that the hackers got access to people’s computers through fake requests for conference calls (pretending to be requests from the school), where filling out the form would leave their computers vulnerable. They’ve also identified that there’s likely multiple people behind this scheme.

July 10, At Evidentiary Analytics

Lizzie goes to see Millie at the office for her company, Evidentiary Analytics. Millie introduces her to Vinnie, her partner. They’ve been able to determine that there’s a set of prints that appears on the golf bag and in the blood that doesn’t belong to either Amanda, Zach or anyone at the NYPD (since they already ran it through the system). Unfortunately, the police have the golf club so they can’t check that.

Lizzie contacts Teddy so that she can get Millie and Vinnie paid for their work, but Teddy says that he has no access to any money. Lizzie realizes she’s been screwed over by Zach. When Lizzie is confused, Teddy tells her that Zach didn’t sell his company for millions. Instead, Zach got a small payout to exit the company after he was accused of malfeasance by the board of directors. Zach is broke. Teddy also mentions he recently informed Sarah about the foundation being bankrupt, but she was more concerned about her own finances. Lizzie wonders why Sarah didn’t say anything to her about it.

Before Lizzie leaves, Millie also tells her that she has cancer.

Later, Lizzie goes to investigate the flowers (lilacs) that Amanda was sent. She shows the delivery boy, Matthew, a photo of Xavier Lynch, but he’s certain it’s not him. When that’s done, she goes to find Sarah, but Sarah is not home. Instead, she meets Kerry, who asks Lizzie not to mention that she saw him there. Kerry claims it’s because he just wanted to watch some Wimbledon and that Sarah would disapprove.

Meanwhile, Lizzie has gotten a bunch of calls from Sam who is apologizing about the earring and not knowing if he’d done something that he needed to apologize for (since he was blacked out, he has no idea). Zach also calls, and Lizzie confronts him about her finances. Zach tells her to get creative in figuring out how to pay for these things or else he’ll reveal her secrets regarding her financial disclosures.

One Day Before the Sleepaway Soiree

Amanda is supposed to meet up with Carolyn, but Carolyn doesn’t show up. She also forgot her cell phone. As she’s waiting, a man calls out for her, which causes her to panic and run and fall, but it turns out to be Seb. He flags down a cab for her. Back at home, she calls Carolyn who is very nonchalant about having missed their appointment. Carolyn says that she thinks she saw Amanda’s dad outside her house, but it was dark. Amanda asks why she was outside her house in the dark, but Carolyn dismisses it and says it must’ve been light out then. Amanda doesn’t understand what is going on with Carolyn.

Later, Amanda insists to Zach that he come with her to the party tomorrow to meet her friends.

Grand Jury Testimony (Benji Pankin)

Benji attended the party and testifies that he saw Amanda Grayson leave the party out the back door at 9:47. Zach Grayson was also in a hurry to leave and departed right before Amanda left.

Data Breach Investigation

The investigators believe that the person(s) responsible likely had a change in circumstances with regards to Brooklyn County Day in April or May. They believe that these person(s) stood to benefit somehow from the harassment in a secondary way (beyond demanding money). They also think it’s possible a student could be the one doing it.

July 11, Visit to St. Colomb Falls and Lots of New Information

Lizzie goes by herself to St. Colomb Falls and finds Xavier Lynch’s home. She talks to him and discovers that he is not Amanda’s father, but her uncle. Furthermore, he says that Amanda killed her father 12 years ago after she found that he had attacked and killed her best friend, Carolyn. Lizzie confirms this information via official records.

Afterwards, she goes to see Millie Faber who says that she’s dying. Millie tells Lizzie that once she dies she can no longer act as a go-between for Lizzie and her father. Contrary to what Lizzie has told other people (including Sam), Lizzie’s father is alive, but in jail for killing the person who defrauded them (Lizzie’s mother died of a heart attack which Lizzie’s dad attributes to their financial troubles). Her dad claims that it was an accident, but the jury didn’t believe him. Millie encourages Lizzie to come clean with Sam about her father and reminds her that her father will be let out of jail in 3 or 4 years.

Lizzie decides that she needs to clear up this financial disclosure issue with her firm so Zach can stop holding it over her. Sh goes in the office to look for Paul, but his secretary Gloria tells her that he’s out having drinks with Wendy Wallace. Lizzie also finds Maude at the office who is upset after Wendy is accusing her of perjury. Lizzie comforts Maude who tells the truth that her alibi for Zach is not true.

At home, Lizzie wonders if Zach had been the one stalking Amanda to set her up and kill her for an insurance policy because of his financial difficulties. Lizzie also discovers that Zach’s loitering charge happened outside the street corner and on the day where she’d met Sam. Zach must’ve been watching her. Most troubling of all, Lizzie figure out that the earring that Sam ended up with matches with a missing earring from Amanda from the day she died. It’s Amanda’s earring.

Grand Jury Testimony (Jessica Kim)

Jessica testifies that she saw Amanda Grayson headed up the stairs (where people hook up) at around 9:30 at the party.

Grand Jury Testimony (Steve Abruzzi)

Steve was at the party and is friends with Kerry and Seb. He says Kerry wasn’t there, but texted him looking for Sebe around 9:30 or 10. Sebe was in a room with Amanda at the time.

July 11, Call with Sarah

Lizzie confronts Sam about the earring. He says that he thinks he saw Amanda before, at Blue Bottle where he’d go to write sometimes, but didn’t know her. They get into an argument as Lizzie wants to figure out whether Sam could have been involved in Amanda’s death, but Sam’s memory is too spotty from drinking that day to really know for sure one way or another.

Afterwards, Sarah calls her to explain that she had been upset about the foundation being bankrupty. Kerry is recently unemployed and she’s stressed out about it. Sarah also says that she hadn’t told Amanda about the foundation’s financial problems yet, but she did tell Maude.

Sarah also adds an odd detail — that Maude knew that a golf club was found next to Amanda’s body the morning after she died. Lizzie knows that Maude hadn’t spoken to the police yet, so it’s highly suspicious that Maude would have known that.

At the Sleepaway Soiree

Amanda and Zach head into the party. She asks him about his new business, but he’s dismissive of her questions and rude. Amanda starts to realize that she needs to leave Zach.

Amanda talks to Maude who updates her with new information on Sophia’s blackmail situation. Apparently, Sophia had been told to perform a sex act on camera or else her photos would be released and she did it. But once she did, they wanted more.

Amanda gets another hang-up call and she curses at him. Then he texts to say that he’s at the party. Paranoid and scared, she runs upstairs into a room, but someone follows her in. It’s Sebe. When she gets another text saying “Get the fuck away from Sebe”, she panics and bolts out the door, running home.

Data Breach Investigation

Krell has completed the investigation into the explicit material on Family #0006’s computers. They’ve concluded that it was downloaded over the course of many months before and isn’t the result of the hackers placing it there. They also identify the family in question as Sarah Novak and Kerry Tanner.

July 12, Visit with Maude and Sebe

Lizzie goes to Maude and Sebe’s place to get more information after finding out the Maude’s fingerprints are a match for fingerprints found at the crime scene in the blood and golf bag. Sebe tries to get Maude not to say anything, but Maude wants to come clean. She admits she was there that night.

After learning about Zach’s financial problems and how he’d had e-mails from the school even though he they didn’t have his e-mail address, Maude became convinced that Zach is the one responsible for the blackmail scheme. Maude couldn’t find Zach at the party, so she goes to his house to find him. She sees the golf bag and grabs one of the clubs.

After the Sleepaway Soiree

Amanda goes home to find the door unlocked. As she looks for Zach, a gloved hand covers her mouth and the man tries to get her to calm down, insisting they won’t hurt her. Still, Amanda is panicked and struggles. After a scuffle, the man pushes Amanda down the stairs. She’s hurt but alive. She tries to get up, but slips and hits her head on the stairs. Then she gets hit in the head until she’s dead.

July 12, Visit with Maude and Sebe, Cont.

Maude says there was someone else in the house and then Amanda came in. Maude heard a scream and the sound of a man running out. She says the man was in a ski mask, but he was definitely too tall to be Zach, who is shorter. The man was wearing red high-top sneakers (Lizzie notes that Sam’s sneakers were white).

Maude dropped the golf club next to Amanda and started CPR. She called Sebe (a doctor) since he would have been there faster than an ambulance, but he determined that Amanda was dead.

After their conversation, Lizzie goes into her office. She runs into Gloria, who asks about Maude (who called the office earlier). She says that she met Maude at a party that her old boss, a senior partner, used to throw. Except Paul got him fired. The ex-partner’s name was Kerry Tanner. Gloria also adds that she told Maude about Kerry’s firing. Paul confirms that Kerry is the partner he got fired. Kerry had harassed multiple legal assistants.

Lizzie finally comes clean to Paul about her financial disclosures. He tells her to get the form amended first thing Monday morning, but to her relief doesn’t say anything further.

Matthew, the flower guy, confirms it was Kerry that sent the lilacs. Lizzie also realizes that Sam and Kerry might each know one another from playing basketball at the neighborhood league, which Sarah confirms. Sarah also adds that Kerry wears red sneakers.

July 15, Kerry in Custody

After the revelations, Kerry is in custody and Zach is gleeful. Lizzie asks Zach why he hacked the computers, and he admits it was him. She keeps him talking, and he thinks he’s protected by attorney-client privilege. However, that privilege does not apply to ongoing crimes, so Lizzie lets him know she’ll be reporting him for cyber fraud, which is a federal crime.

Kerry Tanner: Police Statement

In his statement, Kerry writes that the death was an accident. He was convinced Amanda being nice to him was hints of something they had going on between them, but when Sebe followed her upstairs he got jealous. He scared her on purpose so he could “come to her rescue”, but she started hitting him instead and fell down the stairs. (He also adds that he planted the earring on Sam. On his way home, he saw the earring hooked on to him and Sam passed out. Since he didn’t know what else to do with it, he put it in Sam’s pocket.)

July 15, Sam and Lizzie

The book ends with Sam finally headed to rehab for ninety days. He finally decided to ask his mother for the money to go.

If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ($1, $2, or $4) or joining the Patreon!

Share this post

  

Libro.fm Audiobooks