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The Coworker

Recap, Summary & Spoilers

The Full Book Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for The Coworker by Freida McFadden are below.

Ending & Explanations

See the Ending & Explanations for The Coworker

Quick(-ish) Recap

Natalie and Dawn are coworkers when Dawn goes missing and soon turns up dead. Natalie becomes the prime suspect when it becomes clear from Dawn's e-mail history with her friend Mia that Natalie had been bullying her, that Dawn had found out about an affair Natalie was having with their boss Seth and Dawn had confronted Natalie about missing funds from her sales accounts the day before she disappeared. Natalie is arrested on the same day as the annual 5K race she organizes.

It's revealed that Dawn is alive and conspired with Natalie's boyfriend Caleb to frame Natalie for her death. The dead body the police found was not Dawn's body. Dawn's e-mail history was faked to incriminate Natalie. Dawn was friends with Mia from high school, and Natalie and her friend Tara bullied her until she killed herself. Caleb was Mia's half-brother so he dated Natalie just to help incriminate her.

Seth realizes that Natalie is innocent of the embezzling accusations since no money is missing. Seth and Natalie are able to unravel Dawn and Caleb's plan. Caleb admits to it when he realizes Dawn is planning on killing herself to ensure that Natalie goes to prison for life, and they all stop Dawn. In the end and Epilogue, we learn that Natalie did embezzle money, but replaced the funds by skimming money from the 5K race. Natalie also finds out that the dead body the police found was Tara's body, and Dawn likely killed her. She doesn't say anything because Dawn has kept quiet about Natalie embezzling funds, and the two women have an unspoken agreement to keep each other's secrets.

Part I

Natalie and Dawn are co-workers with adjacent cubicles at Vixed, a nutritional supplement company. Natalie is beautiful and the star salesperson while Dawn is awkward and an accountant. Dawn is also an odd person who is obsessed with turtles. Natalie is concerned when Dawn doesn't show up to work, and Dawn's desk phone gets a call where a woman's panicked voice says "help me". She drops by Dawn's home and finds blood on the carpet and calls the police.

It's soon revealed via e-mails that Dawn wrote to her friend Mia that Natalie has been friendly with Dawn, but there has been tension because Dawn had been pointing out Natalie's excessive business expenses. Dawn also found out five months ago that Natalie was having an affair with their boss, Seth, though she later ended it when she didn't think he'd leave his wife.

Natalie is questioned by the police who point out that her prints are on a knife and a wine glass in Dawn's home. Natalie isn't sure how they got there. Natalie ends up having her boyfriend, Caleb (who also works for Vixed), lie and say that they were together all night before Dawn's disappearance. In actuality, he left her place at 9:30 PM. Dawn's body is soon found, confirming her death by blunt force trauma. There is also an object missing from Dawn's turtle figurine collection.

More e-mails Dawn wrote show that Natalie started being mean to Dawn at some point and making fun of her to others. Natalie also tends to lie to customers about their products and refuses refunds in order to get her sales numbers up.

In present day, Seth has left his wife, and Natalie sleeps with him once more though she declines to leave Caleb for him. Natalie also repeatedly finds a small turtle figurine on her desk that she though she keeps throwing it out. At home, she finds a large bloody ceramic turtle in her laundry hamper. She smashes it to pieces and disposes of it at the beach. She has also been getting calls from a blocked number and the install a tracking app to find out who it is.

Dawn's recent e-mails reveals that a week before her disappearance Dawn had discovered missing company funds associated with Natalie's accounts. She had confronted Natalie about the embezzlement, but Natalie denied it and asked Dawn for her help in figuring out the truth. The night before Dawn's disappearance (Monday), Natalie had plans to go over to Dawn's place around 10PM so they could work on it.

In present day, Caleb admits to the police that he left Dan's place at 10PM that Monday, and the police search Natalie's home. Natalie gets another block number call, but tracks it down to a motel near Providence, Rhode Island. That Saturday, Natalie goes to attend the 5K charity run that she organizes each year in honor of her childhood friend Amelia who had cerebral palsy, however, the police show up to arrest her.

Part II

In a motel in Providence, Dawn and Caleb meet up. Dawn is alive, and the body the police found wasn't hers. It's revealed that Dawn was friends with Amelia (who went by "Mia") from high school, but Natalie and her friend Tara bullied Mia for having cerebral palsy until she killed herself. Dawn feels Natalie got away with killing her so she decided to frame Natalie for her death. She conspired with Caleb, who is Mia's half-brother. Dawn faked the e-mails in order to incriminate Natalie, and Caleb pretended to date Natalie for the same reason.

Seth ends up bailing Natalie out after he realizes that no funds are missing so the embezzling accusations are false. The police have also established that the body they found didn't belong to Dawn. As they talk, Natalie realizes something strange is going on since Seth says Dawn and Caleb knew each other before Caleb started working for Vixed. Seth goes with Natalie to the motel and they bribe the front desk guy who tells them that Caleb and Dawn stayed there together.

When Natalie goes home, Caleb is there asking for help, saying that Dawn is thinking about killing herself to ensure that the police have a body to find. Caleb loves Dawn and wants to propose to her and doesn't want anything to happen to her. They go looking for Dawn and Natalie finds her. They manage to stop her from hurting herself. Natalie apologizes for what happened with Mia, but says that she was just a dumb kid. When they're all headed back, Natalie hears on the news that the body the police found was identified as belonging to Tara Wilkes (the friend that bullied Mia along with Natalie), and Natalie realizes Dawn must've killed her.

In Epilogue, Natalie and Seth are together, and Caleb and Dawn are still together. We learn that Natalie did embezzle money, but replaced the funds by skimming money from the 5K race. Dawn knows this but doesn't say anything because Natalie hasn't said anything about her killing Tara. Two women have an unspoken agreement to keep each other's secrets.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Summary

Part I
Part II


One Day Earlier

Seth Hoffman gets an e-mail from Dawn Schiff asking to discuss a sensitive matter.

Part I

Chapters 1 – 2

Natalie Farrell works for Vixed, a nutritional supplement company, where she’s saleswoman of the month currently. She has a good relationship with her boss, Seth.

She sits next to Dawn, who she notes is very regimented. She’s never late. So, it’s strange that today she’s not at her desk. Dawn’s also a bit of an odd duck. She likes turtles. Kim Healey, Natalie’s best friend at work, lets her know the t-shirts have arrived for the charity run Natalie is organizing. Natalie goes to check it out and when she returns she notices a small turtle figurine, and when she touches it there seems to be a dark red metallic stain on her fingers.

On Dawn’s desk, the phone rings and Natalie picks it up. A panicked female voice says “help me”. Wondering if it might be Dawn, Natalie calls her cell phone, but she doesn’t pick up. Natalie goes to tell their boss Seth about the strange interaction. Seth offers to try calling Dawn, but she still doesn’t pick up. While she’s in his office, Natalie notices that Seth’s wedding ring is missing as is the picture of his wife, Melinda, that normally sits on his desk.

Seth the remembers that he and Dawn had a two o’clock appointment today to talk, so he says she’ll likely show up then.

Chapter 3

Nine Months Earlier

Nine months ago, Mia Hodge gets an e-mail from Dawn talking about her first day at a new job at Vixed. She talks about het love of turtles and reminisces about their childhood friendship. She talks about meeting Seth and Natalie at work and how friendly Natalie was.

Mia responds in a short, friendly e-mail telling her to be herself.

Chapters 4 – 5

In present day, it’s now around noon, and Caleb McCullough, who works on the company website and who Natalie has been dating for two months, drops by. Things are going great with him, and he’s a good guy, though it’s progressing slowly.

Natalie gets a call from Sherri Bell, who she has a podcast interview with today about the charity run for cerebral palsy research. It’s happening this Saturday, beginning and ending at Florian Hall. In the interview, Natalie talks about how it’s her fifth year running it, and how her best friend growing up, Amelia, died from cerebral palsy.

As part of her job, Natalie goes to visit various nutrition and health stores in and around Boston. Today, after a sales call in Quincy, her mom texts her about dinner on Sunday. Then, Natalie asks Seth about whether Dawn made it to their 2 o’clock appointment, and he says no. Natalie recalls that Dawn lives in Quincy and decides to drop by.

She tries the doorbell and finally goes in through the back door. The house is tidy except there’s a glass of wine sitting on the kitchen counter and then another shattered on the floor. In the living room, there’s a giant tank with a turtle inside and a bookshelf overflowing with turtle figurines apart from one empty spot.

Then Natalie notice something on the carpet and screams.

Chapter 6

Eight Months Earlier

There’s an employee-wide e-mail from Natalie inviting them to a party welcoming Dawn to Vixed as the new accountant replacing Edgar Hines.

Dawn e-mails Mia about wanting to decorate her cubicle like Natalie’s and how Natalie threw her a welcome party. Dawn talks about how she prefers to eat monochromatic foods, and she chats about having lunch with Natalie and Kim.

Mia responds with a short supportive message telling her she’s sent her a present involving turtles.

Chapter 7

Natalie calls 911 after seeing a bunch of blood in Dawn’s living room carpet. Detective Santoro questions Natalie about why she was there and her relationship with Dawn. Natalie was at Caleb’s until around 9:30 last night, but she tells the Detective that she was there all night.

Afterwards, Caleb comes to pick her up and Natalie asks him to tell the police that she was with him all night. Caleb feels uncomfortable with it, but Natalie insists and he finally agrees.

Chapter 8

Seven Months Earlier

Dawn e-mails an Etsy seller with a problem with one of her turtle figurines. She then writes to Mia, talking about a tchotchke shop she goes to where they sell turtle stuff sometimes, owned by a guy named Ernie.

She bought a turtle figurine for Natalie as a gift, but Natalie didn’t say thank you. She then talks about how Natalie and Kim have been talking about a lot of wedding stuff, and she had to explain to Natalie how Natalie was unlikely to ever get married at this point. Natalie seemed unhappy, and Dawn wants to get her another turtle.

Mia responds reminding Dawn that if Natalie isn’t being nice to her to maybe stay away from her.

Chapter 9s – 11

Natalie and Caleb go out to dinner. Afterwards, Natalie’s mom calls saying she heard about someone going missing at her company. Her mom then gives her a hard time about not being married.

When Natalie gets home, she notices her front door is unlocked. She wonders if she forgot that morning. She’s anxious as she enters her home, but everything appears to be fine.

In the morning, there’s no new news on Dawn, and Seth wants to meet with Natalie. He looks upset, and apologizes for not taking her concerns about Dawn seriously. He mentions that Detective Santoro is coming by to talk to everyone and wants to talk to Natalie in particular. Seth also admits that he and Melinda split up.

Chapter 12

Six Months Earlier

Dawn e-mails Seth about creating a refrigerator cleaning schedule but he ignores it. Dawn the e-mails Mia talking about a meeting where she pointed out that their expenses are really high. She got data from a different branch that was twice as profitable, but with lower expenses. Natalie had been flustered when she pointed out the excessive food budget. She also talks about how she named her turtle, Mia Junior, after Mia.

Mia responds encouragingly.

Chapters 13 – 14

Detective Santoro asks Natalie to come talk to him again, and asks how she knew Dawn’s address. Natalie says that she drive her home once and remembered it. They talk about the phone call Natalie received asking for help, and Detective Santoro informs her that it came from inside their building.

Detective Santoro tells her that they found her prints on a knife in Dawn’s home, but Natalie explains she was scared when she saw the spilled glass and grabbed a knife. He also says her prints were on the intact wine glass, and Natalie is confused, but she convinces herself she must’ve touched it.

The Detective also asks about an e-mail Dawn sent her two days ago looking to discuss something important, bur Natalie says they never got a chance to speak.

Chapter 15

Six Months Earlier

Dawn e-mails Seth about eliminating business lunches and how that would cut their expenses in half. Seth declines to do it. Dawn then e-mails Mia about asking Seth about eliminating business lunches and how he didn’t want to discuss it. Later that day, Dawn finds her mug is broken in the kitchen, and Natalie comments on it, telling her not to be so careless.

Chapters 16 – 17

After the interview, Natalie is concerned that the Detective seems to really suspect her. After lunch, Caleb talks with Santoro. Afterwards, he confirms that he told the Detective that they were together the whole night the day before Dawn’s disappearance. However, she notices that Caleb seems to be looking at her differently from before and doesn’t seem as interested in hanging out with her.

On the news that night, the police say they’ve identified a “person of interest” in Dawn’s disappearance and Natalie worries that it might be her. Feeling upset, she texts someone to come over.

Chapter 18

Five Months Earlier

Seth e-mails his wife about being swamped with work and unable to come home for dinner.

Dawn e-mails Mis about a disheveled woman leaving a note on Natalie’s desk that reads “If you touch my husband again, I will kill you.”” and realizing the woman is Seth’s wife. Natalie is irritated with Dawn for looking at the note and tells Dawn not to tell anyone about it. Dawn realizes it’s why Natalie has Seth wrapped around her finger.

Chapter 19

In present day, Seth arrives after Natalie invites him over. Natalie had ended things because Melinda had threatened her and she’d been convinced that he wasn’t going to leave her. Now, Seth tells Natalie that he loves her, but Natalie reminds him she’s seeing someone now.

Chapter 20

Four Months Earlier

Natalie and Kim exchange e-mails about Dawn, laughing about whether anyone would ever have sex with her.

Natalie gets an e-mail from a Vixed customer complaining about how terrible their products are.

Dawn e-mails Mia telling her about how she answered Natalie’s phone only to be berated by an irate customer about how terrible the products are. When she tells Natalie, Natalie tells her to never answer her phone. She also talks about how Natalie asked her if she’s a virgin, and Dawn admits to Mia that she’s never even kissed anyone.

Chapters 21 – 22

In present day, Natalie wakes up to find Detective Santoro outside. He asks Natalie if she ever made fun of Dawn, and Natalie denies it. However, the Detective points out that quite a few people said Natalie had joked about Dawn losing her virginity to a turtle. He says that people felt like she was bullying Dawn.

The Detective also knows that Natalie was sleeping with Seth. He then tells her that they found Dawn’s body this morning. She died of blunt head trauma.

Chapter 23

Four Months Earlier

Dawn thanks Mia for the flowers she sent. She tells her about how Natalie played a prank on her and sent an e-mail around about the sales meeting and told everyone else it was at 1 PM but told Dawn that it was at 2 PM so Dawn showed up an hour late. Dawn tried to tell Seth, but he didn’t believe her.

Chapters 24 – 26

In present day at work, Natalie is shocked to find that the turtle figurine that she threw in the garbage two days ago is back on her desk. She deals with a call from a customer asking for a refund, which she denies and he says she lied about the refund policy.

Natalie goes to talk to Kim and asks her if she told the detective that she was bullying Dawn. Kim admits that she said something. Natalie tells Kim she needs to not say stuff like that to the Detective.

Caleb talks to Natalie and apologizes for giving her a hard time. He says that the detective grilled him too and he says he can understand why she felt like she needed an alibi. Natalie suggest to Caleb that he sleeps over next time and also confirms that the 5K is still happening.

Chapter 27

Three Months Earlier

Natalie sends out an e-mail inviting people to Kim’s bridal shower. Dawn replys-all about it and Natalie gives her a hard time.

Dawn writes to Mia about bringing turtle cupcakes to Kim’s shower but they disappear and she finds them in the trash. Natalie also gives Dawn a hard time for attending, saying she assumed people who weren’t friends with Kim would know not to come.

Mia responds saying she should go to HR about Natalie, but Dawn says the head of HR loves Natalie.

Chapters 28 – 29

In present day, Natalie calls into a local radio station to promote the 5K, but the host Rita express surprise that it’s still happening consider her coworker was just murdered. The host also tells Natalie that people online are all talking about rumors of how Dawn was bullied at work.

Natalie checks social media and everyone is talking about how terrible Vixed products are and how their employees are bullies. Some people have named Natalie specifically as lying about the products. Natalie goes to talk to Seth about it, but he tells her not to think about it and asks her to break up with Caleb. Natalie says no.

Chapter 30

Two Months Earlier

Dawn e-mails her mom, Rhonda Schiff, asking for advice on getting her coworker to like her. Rhonda isn’t helpful, but asks Dawn for some money.

Dawn writes to Mia about her efforts to get Natalie to like her. She also asks to visit Mia, but Mia says things are really busy at the moment and her husband George’s parents are in town.

Chapters 31 – 32

In present day, Natalie gets home to do her laundry, but finds a ceramic turtle figurine covered in blood in her laundry hamper. Natalie panics upon seeing it and is certain she is being framed. She is tempted to tell the detective but she doesn’t think that he’d believe her.

Before she can decide what to do, the doorbell rings and she sees a police car outside.

Chapter 33

Two Months Earlier

Natalie e-mails Caleb asking for IT help.

Dawn tells Mia about seeing Natalie and Caleb flirting in the break room. Dawn also tests out giving Natalie a complement to try to make her like her by saying she likes her necklace, but Natalie gets flustered about the diamond necklace she’s wearing. Dawn then tries to physically connect with Natalie (as recommended by a website about how to get people to like you), but Natalie gets upset and tells her never to touch her.

Chapters 34 – 35

In present day, Detective Santoro has more questions for Natalie, though she declines to invite him in. He notes that her place must be expensive because of the area. He asks if Dawn ever came to her with concerns about the payroll and Natalie says no, but Santoro says he thinks Dawn talked to her on Monday about money missing from the Vixen account. He also thinks she got Caleb to lie about them being together that night. Natalie denies it all.

After dinner, Natalie thinks about who would want to frame her for Dawn’s death. She wonders if it’s Seth’s wife Melinda. She drives out to the beach after smashing up the ceramic turtle and empties the contents into the water.

Afterwards, she gets a call from a blocked number, which she’s gotten the past two nights as well.

Chapter 36

One Month Earlier

Kim complains of someone stealing her ketchup and Dawn responds suggesting a fridge cleaning and maintenance schedule.

Dawn writes to Mia about how she came to work to find the various turtle stuff she keeps around her desk had been destroyed and her turtle plush had ketchup on it made to look like blood. She finds the bottle in Natalie’s trash bin so she’s certain Natalie did it. She tells Seth, but he’s dismissive, so she accuses him of favoring Natalie because he’s sleeping with her.

Mia writes back that she can’t let Natalie get away with this.

Chapter 37

In present day, Natalie goes into work and talks to Greg Lowsky, their tech guy. She asks him for help in finding out who’s been calling her from a blocked number. He tells her about an app called TrackCall, though it doesn’t work on past calls.

She goes to her desk to see that the tiny turtle figurine is there again.

Chapter 38

One Week Earlier

Dawn e-mails Mia about finding out about missing company funds associated with Natalie’s accounts. She plans on going to Natalie with her concerns first.

Mia disagrees and tells Dawn to go straight to Seth.

Chapters 39 – 42

In present day, Seth tells Natalie that Santoro is saying that Natalie stole money from the company and Dawn found out about it. He talks about how flirty she always was with the previous accountant. Seth tells her he understands now why she was messing around with him as well and tells her to leave. Natalie denies it all, but Seth doesn’t listen.

Kim comes to ask Natalie what’s going on, but Natalie lies and said that Seth’s just giving her some flex time with everything that’s going on. Natalie also insists that Kim come to the race tomorrow.

Natalie’s mom calls saying she heard that the girl from her work turned up dead and people are saying that Natalie bullied her. Natalie denies it, but her mom reminds her of how she and a friend of hers, Tara, used to bully another girl she knew. Caleb then calls to tell her that he finally cracked and told Detective Santoro the truth about leaving at 9:30 PM that night.

Natalie gets off the phone to see a bunch of police cars surrounding her home. Detective Santoro says that they have a warrant to search her home.

Chapter 43

Monday (Day Before Dawn’s Disappearance)

On Monday, Dawn e-mailed Natalie to talk. Natalie also mentions to Caleb that they’re on for dinner but there’s something else she needs to take care of that night.

Dawn then e-mails Mia to tell her that she talked to Natalie, but Natalie claimed she was being framed. She asks Dawn to help her figure out who did it. Dawn tells Mia that Natalie is about to come over so they can work on it together.

Chapter 44

In present day, it’s late when the police leave. The annual 5K is today, which Natalie has planned for the last five years. When she arrives, Cleo, a volunteer from Boston College, is there ready to help with registration and check-in. There’s about a dozen people there for the race, which is less than usual, but she knew that would happen.

Natalie gets another call from the blocked number, but this time she uses the app that Greg told her about to find out it coming from a motel just outside of Providence, Rhode Island. She tells Caleb about it and says she’s going to drive over there, and he agrees to join her.

Just after Natalie does a quick TV interview talking about how all of this is in honor of her friend Amelia and the race is about to kick off, Detective Santoro comes to arrest her for Dawn’s murder. Before she gets hauled off, she pleads with Caleb to go to the motel and check out what’s going on.

Part II

Chapters 45 – 46 (Dawn)

In a motel room just outside Providence, Dawn is watching as Natalie is arrested for her murder. She thinks about how turtles use patience to capture their prey. Dawn is hungry but needs to stay inside since she can’t risk people seeing her right now. Dawn’s wrist still hurts too because of when she cut it to leave all that blood on the carpet.

Outside the room, she sees Caleb get out of his car, and then he comes to knock on her door. Dawn answers, and Caleb and Dawn both laugh together about Natalie’s arrest. Caleb tells Dawn the blocked calls was a bad idea. Dawn thinks about how Caleb leaving the turtle on Dawn’s desk repeatedly was an unnecessary risk.

Caleb points out that they’ll eventually figure out the body they found isn’t Dawn. It just so happened that they discovered this body that was similar to Dawn.

Caleb and Dawn then embrace. Dawn handwrites a letter to Mia, telling her what happened and saying that it’s only fair for Natalie to be imprisoned for a crime she didn’t commit because Natalie got away with being responsible for Mia’s death.

Chapter 47 (Dawn)

Dawn thinks about Mia, whose full name was Amelia. Natalie and Amelia/Mia were never really friends. Dawn went to high school with Natalie briefly. Natalie was the queen bee at their high school, and Mia was a girl with cerebral palsy. Mia and Dawn met in first grade and Dawn was so happy to have a friend. Natalie transferred in her junior year. When Dawn left for college, Mia was still in high school and Natalie bullied her because of her cerebral palsy.

Around Valentine’s day, Mia thought boy named George liked her since she’d been receiving notes from him. He showed up to school with flowers. But it turned out it was for someone else and that Natalie and Tara had been playing a prank on Mia. Two days later, Mia took a bunch of pills and killed herself.

Dawn was furious and when she met Caleb she met someone else who was just as angry about it as she was, since Caleb is Mia’s brother.

Chapter 48 (Natalie)

Natalie meets with a lawyer, Archie Ferguson, now that she’s been arrested. But he’s only 25 and has only been practicing for five months.

Archie tells her about the various pieces of evidence they have against her, including saying that they found Dawn’s hair and blood in Natalie’s trunk. Archie also tells her that Caleb’s statement makes her look really bad. He said that Natalie told him he had to leave at 9:30 because she had somewhere to go. Natalie insists that’s a lie. Caleb also told the police that Natalie and Dawn hated each other. Natalie is completely confused about why Caleb would think that.

The good news is the police have determined that the body they found is not Dawn.

Archie encourages her to take a deal now and go to prison for a few years. He reminds her that if the body surfaces she could be looking at life in prison.

Chapter 49 (Dawn)

Caleb is Mia’s half-brother. Dawn thinks about how she and Caleb bonded over their shared anger over what happened. Then a few years into their friendship something shifted between them, and he kissed her. Dawn would still be a virgin if it weren’t for Caleb. Today, Caleb suggests staying over with Dawn. He also mentions about how strange it is a body similar to hers happened to appear right at this time.

Dawn was the one out of the two of them that was much more determined to get revenge on Natalie. Dawn wrote those e-mails to “Mia” to incriminate Natalie and Caleb responded to them using a fake e-mail address as “Mia”.

Chapter 50 (Natalie)

Natalie spends the night in jail. It’s cold. Her cellmate demands her blanket, and threatens her until she gives it up.

Chapter 51 (Dawn)

Dawn and Caleb decide to go to a different motel just in case. Dawn sees that the police have learned it wasn’t her body. She worries Natalie won’t be convicted without a body.

Chapter 52 (Natalie)

Natalie’s parents call. She tells her mom she didn’t do it. Her mom brings up how she bullied Amelia into killing herself. She asks her parent for money for bail, but they say they live on a fixed income and can’t help.

Chapter 53 (Dawn)

Dawn knows she’s strange and she worries that Caleb will eventually realize that he’s normal and they don’t have anything in common. Dawn wants to make sure that Natalie goes to jail and for that they need a body.

But she also finds a ring in Caleb’s coat pocket. She puts it back and pretends she didn’t see it.

Chapter 54 (Natalie)

At the bail hearing, Natalie confirms that she can’t afford the bail or even a bond. Archie has told Natalie that the prosecution does not seem interest in a deal and wants to go for a Murder One charge instead.

Natalie is sitting in the cell when she finds out someone has posted bail for her, and it’s Seth. Seth says he checked through the accounts and no money is missing. He apologizes for not believing her. He also offers to get her a proper lawyer.

When the topic of Caleb comes up, Natalie tells Seth that she’s not sure she trusts him anymore. Seth mentions his relationship with Dawn, and Natalie is confused. Seth says that Dawn was the one who recommended him for the job. Natalie starts to wonder if Caleb was the one who set up her, but why would he do that.

Natalie fills Seth in on what she knows. They agree to drive up to the motel together. Caleb calls to tell her that he went to the motel but no one recognized Dawn. Natalie feels sure Caleb is trying to hide something from her.

On the drive up, Seth tells Natalie how his marriage had been on the rocks for years before Natalie came along. At the motel, Seth bribed the front desk guy, who tells them that Caleb stayed for a night but checked out. He also says he thinks there was a woman with him and he thinks it could’ve been Dawn.

When they return, Caleb is sitting outside her house.

Chapter 57 – 60

Seth instructs Natalie to stay in the car while he goes to talk to Caleb. Natalie accuses him of planting evidence in her car, and he admits that he did it. Finally, Caleb tells them that Dawn isn’t dead. He tells her the truth that this is all happening because Natalie bullied his sister Amelia in high school. Natalie admits to being a jerk when she was 17, but says there isn’t anything she can do about it now.

Caleb then says that Dawn is taking things even further and he thinks she’s going to hurt herself to make sure there’s a dead body. Caleb cries and says they need to find her before she does.

Natalie find Dawn on the pier, and she is dismayed to see Natalie walk up. Natalie tells her that they know the truth so there’s no point to Dawn killing herself since Natalie isn’t going to jail for her death.

Dawn is spinning out and determined to attack Natalie, so Natalie maces her to keep her at bay. Dawn is convinced that Caleb fell in love with Natalie while he was pretending to date her, but Natalie insists that he loves Dawn and says he was crying over the idea of something happening to her.

Chapter 61

Dawn and Natalie meet up with Seth and Caleb. Seth tells them that the news is out that they identified the woman whose body they found, and it turns out to be someone named Tara Wilkes.

Natalie realizes that Dawn must’ve killed her.


Dawn and Caleb stay together and have now recently moved in together. Natalie doesn’t end up saying anything about Tara’s death, probably because Dawn knows many of her secrets, too. They end up saying that a ceramic turtle fell on Dawn’s head and she ended up wandering around disoriented for a few days.

This year, Natalie invited Dawn to organize the 5K with her.

Caleb proposes to Dawn.

Meanwhile, Natalie is glad that the 5K was a success. As usual, she’s skimmed some off the top. Natalie thinks about how she had to take a little more than usual last year in order to replace the money from the Vixed accounts, which is why everything was find when Seth checked over things.

Natalie thinks about how she was the one who sent Melinda a note about her affair with Seth in hopes that their marriage would implode, and it did. Now she and Seth are fairly serious.

Natalie feels that she and Dawn essentially have an unspoken arrangement. She keeps quiet about Tara, and Dawn keeps quiet about the embezzling.

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