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The Inmate

Recap, Summary & Spoilers



The Quick Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for The Inmate by Freida McFadden are below.

Ending & Explanations

See the Ending & Explanations for The Inmate

Quick(-ish) Recap

Two-paragraph version: Brooke moves back to her hometown to work as a nurse at a prison where her high school boyfriend, Shane, is an inmate. Shane is in there because of a night where they were hanging out and their friends were murdered. Brooke got away and identified him as the killer. Shane is also the father of her 10-year-old son, Josh. In present day, Brooke runs into the only other survivor from that night, Tim, and they start dating. But then she finds a dead body in his basement and recants her testimony, and she accuses Tim instead. Shane is released, and Brooke introduces him to Josh. While Shane and Josh are on a walk in the woods, Shane abducts Josh and tells Brook over the phone that he's going to make Brooke suffer for sending him to jail.

Brooke goes for help, and runs into her babysitter, Margie, who then admits that she's been lying about her identity and that she's Shane's mom, Pamela. Pamela and Shane actually planned all the murders that night and planted the body in Tim's basement. Brooke was always the target, everyone else was collateral damage. (Pamela is bitter because she had an affair with Brooke's dad. He promised to support her and leave his family, but never did.) Brooke manages to take Pamela's gun and shoot her. She then goes to find Josh and sees that Shane died in an accident in the snow. Tim's charges are dropped. In the Epilogue, we find out that Josh was warned long ago by Tim that Shane was dangerous and wanted to hurt Brooke. When Josh heard Shane being mean to Brooke over the phone, Josh engineered Shane's accident and murdered him to protect his mom.


Brooke Sullivan has moved back to her hometown after a decade away and is starting a job as a nurse practitioner at the prison where her high school boyfriend, Shane Nelson, is an inmate. He's in prison because of a night 11 years ago when they were hanging out with some friends at Shane's house. That night, three of their friends were killed, while Tim Reese, Shane and Brooke survived. Tim and Shane both claimed it was the other guy who did it. Brooke didn't see who attacked her, but the attacker had smelled like sandalwood, the scent Shane was wearing, so she accused him. As a result, Shane has been in prison for a decade. He's also the father of Brooke's 10-year-old son, Josh, since she got pregnant that night.

In present day, Brooke is reunited with Shane in prison. Brooke also runs into Tim, the other survivor. Brooke starts dating Tim, but there's news of a missing woman, Kelli, that Tim once dated. (In the summer 11 years ago, there was another girl found murdered, Tracy, that Tim had dated). Brooke soon finds Kelli's body in Tim's basement. She tells the police and he's arrested. She then recants her testimony about Shane, saying that it must've been Tim that night, and Shane is released. Brooke goes to pick Shane up, and introduces him to Josh finally. The next day, when Brooke takes Shane back to his house along with Josh, Shane and Josh go for a walk.

Being back in the house triggers her memories, and Brooke realizes that it must've been two people who conducted the murders together, Shane and Tim. There's also news that a prison guard that Shane didn't get along with was found dead today. Brooke then calls Shane, who tells her that he has Josh and is going to make her suffer for what she's done to him. Brooke runs for help and she encounters her babysitter, Margie, but she turns out to be Shane's mother, whose real name is Pamela Nelson.

Pamela then pulls a gun on her and says she's wrong about Tim. Tim was innocent. He was left alive that night to be the patsy, but Brooke ruined the plan by getting away and accusing Shane. Instead, Pamela was the one who helped Shane murder everyone. Shane also murdered Tracy that summer 11 years ago, and Pamela killed and planted Kelli's body in Tim's basement for the police to find so that Brooke would recant her accusation of Shane. Pamela says she had an affair with Brooke's father for a year when Shane was young, and he promised to leave his family for her and support her, but he didn't. Instead, she watched Brooke and her mother live the life she should've had. Pamela admits to engineering the car accident that killed Brooke's parents. Now, Pamela plans to kill Brooke so she, Shane and Josh can be a family.

There's a struggle, and Pamela is shot. When Brooke gets to Josh, he says that there was a snowdrift that fell on Shane. Brooke sees that Shane is dead. A month later, Tim has been released from jail. Pamela ends up surviving the gunshot wound and confesses to her crimes. Josh encourages Brooke to speak to Tim. He's angry with her, but he says that he doesn't hate her. The begin to rebuild their relationship.

In the Epilogue, the book reveals that Tim had warned Josh that Shane was dangerous and could hurt Brooke. During their walk, Josh heard Shane being mean to Brooke on the phone, and he saw an opportunity. Josh was the one who purposely made the snowdrift fall on Shane and then he killed Shane with a large icicle.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Summary

Chapters 1 – 3, Present Day

Brooke Sullivan, a nurse practitioner, shows up for her first day of work at Raker Maximum Security Penitentiary, men’s maximum-security prison. This job was her last choice, but it was the only place she got called back for an interview.

She meets with Dorothy Kuntz, a nurse at the prison, who assigns her a small examination room with a desk in it. She’s also told all their medical records are on paper. The supervising doctor, Dr. Wittenburg, covers about half a dozen prisons so he won’t be around much, but he’s available by phone.

Next, Dorothy explains that while Brooke can write prescriptions, Dorothy is the only one here who can dispense them.

Finally, Dorothy recommends against sharing any personal information or putting up any photos. She asks Brooke if she has any kids, and Brooke says she has a son. Dorothy says not to talk about it. She reminds Brooke that these men are not her friends, and many of them are in here for very serious crimes. She also says to be wary of anyone that’s here just looking for drugs. Dorothy adds that the person she’s replacing, Elise, was arrested for selling narcotics to prisoners.

Brooke doesn’t tell Dorothy that part of the reason she’s scare of this job is because her first boyfriend is an inmate here, and she’s the reason he’s in prison.


Brooke grew up in Raker, though it’s been ten years since she’s lived here. She’s living in what used to be her parents house with her son, Josh, 10, since her parents are both deceased now. They both died in a car accident around the end of the last school year. Margie, a local grandma, will be helping to watch Josh while Brooke is at work.

Margie has dinner ready when Brooke arrives home, and Brooke and Josh sit down for dinner after Margie leaves. She knows Josh is nervous about school after having been bullied last year, and he came home with a black eye one day. Brooke learned that they were calling him a “bastard” since she was a single mom. The school didn’t want to do anything about it, so she decided to move in to her parents house after they passed away so he could get a new start at a new school.

Josh then asks if he can meet his dad since he lives here, but Brooke says his father doesn’t live here anymore.


Today at work, Brooke sees Mr. Henderson and gives him a prescription for a new inhaler for his emphysema. He’s gracious and polite about receiving care, just like all the other patients she’s seen here. It seems like the prison has been need of another nurse for a while, which is likely why they were willing to overlook that she had a personal connection to a prisoner here.

Correctional officer Marcus Hunt is assigned to the medical unit. He’s the one that brings patients there and waits while outside while she sees them. Some men arrive shackled while others do not.

When Hunt walks away, Brooke sneaks into the medical records room and looks up the records for her ex, Shane Nelson. She remembers him telling her “I love you, Brooke” a few hours before he tried to kill her. She’s interrupted by Hunt’s return, and she makes an excuse for why she was in there though he seems unconvinced.

Chapter 4, Eleven Years Ago

In a flashback from 11 years ago, Brooke recalls sitting in a car with Shane a block away from her parents’ home. She is the star quarterback at school, and Brooke is a cheerleader. They’re both 17, and they’ve been together for three months. Her parents think she’s sleeping over at her best friend Chelsea’s house tonight, but the plan is to stay at Shane’s place since his mom is out of town. Chelsea and her boyfriend Brandon, also a football player, will be there, too. In the car, Shane tells he “lopes” her, an inside joke based on a misspelled text.

Her parents have been strict lately about her coming home on time ever since a girl from a neighboring town, Tracy Gifford, was found murdered in the woods four months ago. They’ve only eased up recently.

She gets out of the car with and says she’ll meet up with Shane after dinner at 7:30 that night. Her neighbor, Tim Reese sees her and asks her about her plans. She’s been friends with Tim a long time and no one knows her better. Tim hates Shane, but she invites him to join them tonight. Tim agrees, and Brooke is reminded of how he never says no to her.

Chapters 5 – 6, Present Day

At school, Josh’s teacher Mrs. Conway promises to keep an eye on him. As she walks out of the classroom, Brooke is surprised to see the familiar face of Tim Reese. She also notes how handsome he looks now, having gotten taller and lost his boyishness their senior year. He says he’s the assistant principal at the school now.

He expresses his condolences regarding her parents, and he mentions that he’s back living in his parents house since they moved to Florida. He suggests that they get coffee sometime.


Today, Brooke is seeing Mr. Malcolm Carpenter, a paraplegic. He has a sore from not having an appropriate mattress, causing him to have a wound from pressure being on the same spot all the time. After their appointment, she goes to ask Dorothy how to get a better mattress for him, but Dorothy says something like that isn’t in the budget.

They’re interrupted by Hunt bringing over an injured patient who got into in an altercation in the yard. Brooke sees that it’s Shane.

Chapter 7, Eleven Years Ago

Just before 7:30 PM, Chelsea pulls up to pick up Brooke along with Kayla Olivera, who Chelsea invited for Tim. Tim comes out of his house and joins them as well.

Chapters 8, Present Day

Shane looks shocked to see Brooke. She asks how he is and responds that he’s in prison for something he didn’t do, so not great. She wants to give him lidocaine, an anesthetic, before stitching him up, but Dorothy says they’re out and to just do it without it.

Shane tells her that he got his GED in prison and has been tutoring other prisoners. He also asks how old her son is and she lies and says he’s five so he won’t figure out the timeline.

He asks her about her parents, and Brooke says they passed away, though she doesn’t mention how their relationship had deteriorated after they learned she’d gotten pregnant and wanted to keep the baby. Shane tells her that his mother died a few years ago, too, and he laments that she died believing that he was a murderer. Brooke thinks to herself that he’s just not willing to own up to what he’s done.

Chapter 9, Eleven Years Ago

Shane’s house is a farmhouse on a dirt road a mile off of the main road. The house is rundown, and Brooke knows that they need both of Mrs. Nelson’s minimum wage jobs as well as Shane’s job at the pizza place to pay their bills. Seeing Shane, Brooke comments that she loves the smell of his sandalwood aftershave.

Shane doesn’t look pleased to see Tim there, but he welcomes him anyway. The two have a conversation that Brooke can’t hear.

Chapters 10 – 11, Present Day

Brooke finishes suturing Shane up. She asks if he needs pain meds, but he declines saying that he if he does he’ll be seen as being drug-seeking.

Before he leaves, he tells Brooke that he didn’t try to kill her. He says that Reese knocked him out with a baseball bat and the next thing he remembers, he was being told that he was under arrest. After he leaves, Brook admits to herself she didn’t actually see who tried to kill her, but she remembers the way he smelled.


Driving home, Brooke thinks about what Elise had written in his chart. He’d complained of abdominal pain in the past, and Elise had written that he was “Manipulative, drug-seeking.” And she had underlined the word “manipulative.”

When she gets home, she gets a text from Tim who got her number from the parent directory. He invites her out for a drink. Brooke checks in with Margie, who says she can watch Josh tomorrow night, and she makes plans with Tim for tomorrow.

Chapter 12, Eleven Years Ago

At the house, there’s not a great phone signal, but Shane offers the use of a landline if needed. Chelsea suggests that the group play Never Have I Ever, where people say something they haven’t done and anyone who’s done it needs to take a drink.

As they all go around, Tim’s “never have I ever” is beating up someone until they were hospitalized — and Shane and Brandon have to take a drink. Brandon explains that it was a kid named Mark and he deserved it for talking about how hot Shane’s mom was. Shane looks uncomfortable, and says they were being stupid.

When it’s Shane’s turn, his “never have I ever” is going on a date with Tracy Gifford, the girl who died that summer. And they all watch as Tim takes a drink.

Chapter 13, Present Day

Brooke is getting ready to go out for the night when Estelle Greenberg, a local real estate agent, drops by. The original plan after her parents’ death was to sell the house, and it was actually written into her parent’s will to earmark funds to pay for Estelle’s fees, but Brooke ended up deciding to move in. Estelle talks to Brooke and tries to convince her that it’s a good time to sell, but Brooke pointedly asks Estelle to leave her alone.

Afterwards, Brooke and Tim head out to a bar nearby called the Shamrock. The bar is dark and smokey, and their waitress is Kelli, someone that had been on the cheerleading team with Brooke. As Brooke and Tim chat, Tim admits that he’s been on a few dates with Kelli before, but she decided to go back to her boyfriend.

He also he says that he tried to track down Brooke in the past, but she wasn’t on social media. He then asks about Josh’s father, and Brooke says that he’s not in the picture, but she also clarifies that she’s only interested in friendship here. Though she does think to herself about how he saved her life all those years ago.


On Saturday, Brooke goes grocery shopping and runs into Kelli at the store. Kelli is hostile towards Brooke, and she tells her that Tim brings a lot of women to Shamrock. Kelli also recognizes that she was the person who sent Shane to prison and says that Shane was a good guy who would have never done those things. But Brooke is well aware there are plenty of people in Raker who are upset with her for testifying against Shane so this is nothing new.

Chapter 15, Eleven Years Ago

The group peppers Tim with questions about Tracy Gifford, and Brooke wonders how Shane knew about this since it was clearly directed at Tim. Tim says that he and Tracy went on two dates about a month before she was killed. He admits that he never told the police since he didn’t know anything that would help. Tim doesn’t know how Shane knew about it, but he’s unhappy that Shane brought it up.

He pulls Brooke aside and reiterates that Shane is a bully and no good for her, but Shane interrupts them to bring them back into the group.

Chapter 16, Present Day

Brooke sleeps poorly, knowing that today she’s supposed to see Shane again to remove his stitches. In the afternoon, Hunt brings him around, and she notices how Hunt seems to be a lot rougher with Shane than he needs to be. When Shane comes in, Brooke asks him about it, and Shane says that Hunt hates him, though he doesn’t know why.

Shane makes small talk with Brooke as she works, and she engages with him even though she knows she probably shouldn’t. She accidentally slips up and tells him about Josh’s black eye, and Shane is confused since he thinks Josh is five and that some preschooler gave him a shiner. When she’s done, he tells her again that it wasn’t him that night and that it was Reese. He about to leave when Hunt grabs him to go, but because Shane is shackled he loses his balance and falls over, hitting is head on the table. Brooke gets mad at Hunt before tending to Shane.

Dorothy comes in to see what has happened. Brooke says that Shane needs to be admitted to the infirmary for observation in case he has a concussion, and Dorothy agrees. As she walks him down to the infirmary, Brooke starts to have doubts about who really tried to strangle her that night.

Chapter 17, Eleven Years Ago

Soon, all six of them are trashed, and Shane suggests that he and Brooke head upstairs to fool around. In the bedroom, they talk about how neither of them have had sex before, and they exchange “I love you”s.

Chapters 18 – 20, Present Day

At the end of the day, Brooke goes to check on Shane in the infirmary, which is unoccupied other than him and a guard. She does a quick neuro exam, and Brooke is upset to realize that she finds herself being concerned about him when she’s hated him for so long.

He makes a joke about “loping” tacos, and Brooke finds herself thinking about the night she lost her virginity. She quickly finishes up and tells him that she’ll have dinner brought to him before leaving.


Brooke feels shaken up after her encounter with Shane. She’s in the parking lot when Hunt stops her, asking to talk. He apologies for what happened earlier today, and he warns Brooke that Shane is very manipulative and that he’s the reason why her predecessor, Elise, is going to prison. He offers to get a drink with her to talk about it, but Brooke doesn’t want to do that and says that he’s busy. He reminds her to be careful before she leaves.


That night, Brooke thinks about her parents. She thinks about how her father was rumored to have been cheating on her mother and how hard of a time they gave her about keeping her baby. They sent her checks, but she wasn’t welcome to visit them in Raken.

She needed their help to get through nursing school, but five years ago, when she finally graduated and was making enough to stand on her own two feet, she finally stood up to her parents. She demanded that they allow her to come visit if they wanted to maintain a relationship with their only grandchild. However, they stood firm in their decision.

Her father came out to see her and tried to tell her that it wasn’t about being ashamed of her. He asked her to trust that it was just a bad idea for her to be in Raken, but Brooke was certain they were embarrassed of her, since he couldn’t give her any logical reason why she shouldn’t visit them otherwise.

Chapter 21, Eleven Years Ago

After Brooke and Shane have sex for the first time, Shane tells her he thinks the condom came off somehow. He reassures her that it’ll be okay though and no matter what happens that he’d support her.

They fall asleep in each others’ arms, and she doesn’t awake until she hears the screaming.

Chapter 22, Present Day

Brooke and Josh are having dinner when the doorbell rings. Josh runs to get it, and Brooke freezes when she sees that it’s Tim. Tim says that his mom sent over some cookies from Florida and he thought that he’d bring some over. Josh runs off with some cookies, leaving Brooke and Tim alone.

Tim looks confused, saying that he thought Josh was in kindergarten. Brooke finally admits that Josh is ten. Tim then asks if Shane is the father. Brooke says yes, but that Shane doesn’t know it. Tim in about to leave when Josh comes to tell Brooke that the sink is broken. Tim hesitantly offers to take a look, and Brooke gratefully agrees.

Tim also offers to let Josh help him fix it, and Josh is delighted at the suggestion. An hour later, the sink is fixed and Josh seems exhilarated. Josh then asks Tim help fix a doorknob upstairs. Brooke tries to tell Josh that Tim is busy, but Tim offers to come by the next day to take a look at that, too.

Chapter 23, Eleven Years Ago

Brooke and Shane are in bed together when she hears someone scream her name, and she wakes Shane. They exit the room and find Tim and Kayla at the top of the stairs. They can all see the front door is wide open with rain coming through the doorway.

They go to see what’s going on and find Chelsea leaning over Brandon on the porch, whose chest is a mess of blood. Chelsea says she woke up, but Brandon wasn’t there so she went looking for him. She found him like this. Tim feels for a pulse and confirms that Brandon is dead.

Kayla asks Shane where the landline is and rushes over to call the police. However, the phone doesn’t appear to be working. He checks it and says that the storm must’ve damaged the phone lines. Kayla starts freaking out and says that she wants to leave. Brooke and Chelsea agree since they don’t know who did this and they need to contact the police anyway. All the girls walk over to Chelsea’s car, but they quickly realize that all four of her tires have been slashed. The tires are slashed on the other car as well.

Kayla then freaks out even more. She says that everyone know Brandon was cheating on Chelsea so maybe she killed him because of it. Kayla insists she’s determined to leave, and she starts trudging down the dirt road leading away from the property. However, she slips and falls, and Tim goes to get her and helps her back towards the house. But Kayla takes off into the house by herself, and they hear a bedroom door slam shut.

Chapter 24, Present Day

The next morning, Brooke goes to check on Shane again, but she’s intercepted by Hunt. He tells her that he knows she was trying to get that special mattress for Mr. Carpenter, and he recalls that they were able to get one once a few years back. He hands her a form that he’s filled out as much as he can. Brooke is impressed and she thanks him.

In the infirmary, Shane is still the only prisoner there. Brooke checks in with the nurse’s aide, Charlene, who confirms there weren’t any problems last night. Brooke asks why Shane has been handcuffed to the bed, and Charlene says Hunt came and cuffed him.

Brooke checks him out and prescribes him a painkiller for his headache. Shane tells Brooke that he won’t bring up what they were talking about before again, but he warns her to stay away from Tim Reese. Brooke tells him “fine”, but she knows she’s lying.

Chapter 25, Eleven Years Ago

Not knowing what to do, they decide to put a wool blanket over Brandon’s body, and they head inside. They talk about just walking somewhere, but Shane warns that it seems like the storm may have downed some power lines so it could be dangerous. Tim agrees that it would be better to wait.

Chelsea pulls Brooke aside to say that she knows they’re not safe there and she wants them to go. Tim then pulls Brooke aside to say that it looks like Brandon was stabbed, and all the kitchen knives are gone. He suggests that maybe whoever did this planned in advance for any other weapons in the house to be gone.

Chapters 26 – 27, Present Day

It’s now been a month since starting her new job and Josh starting his school year. Tim has been a frequent visitor at their house. Josh is doing well, and he’s really bonded with Tim. Margie has been making extra food, since Tim is often over at their house for dinner.

Today, Josh asks her if Tim is his father, but Brooke says no, and Josh looks crushed. Soon, Tim shows up smelling like sandalwood, and Brooke feels repulsed. She says the smell of it makes her sick since that’s the scent that Shane was wearing that night. Tim obligingly washes it off, promising never to wear it again. Brooke starts wondering if maybe there could be more between them eventually.


After dinner, Josh wants to throw a ball around, but Tim says no since he hasn’t done his homework yet. Instead, he tells him to go do his homework and that they can go to the park tomorrow. Brooke tells him he doesn’t have to do that, but Tim says he wants to.

He then offers to help with the dishes. As they go, she flirts gently with him. Then, Tim kisses her, and she lets him. When they pull away, Tim tells her that he’s been in love with her for forever.

Brooke has an internal debate – she remembers what Shane said about staying away from Tim, but thinks about how great he’s been around the house and with Josh – and she decides to give it a chance.

Chapter 28, Eleven Years Ago

After Tim insinuates that Shane could have killed Brandon, Brooke is hesitant, saying that Shane had no reason to kill Brandon. She notices that Tim has managed to get his hands on a baseball bat. They go to check on Kayla who they haven’t heard from in a while, hoping that she’s had time to calm down.

When there’s no response, they carefully open the door, but they find her dead, having been stabbed in the chest as well.

Chapters 29 – 30, Present Day

Today, Brooke sees Mr. Fanning, who has a broken finger. She sends him for an x-ray at the local hospital. After she gets his results back, she sees him chatting warmly with Hunt, which surprises her, since Hunt is generally pretty hostile towards most of the inmates there.

Brooke tells Fanning that it’s not serious and they can just immobilize it and it should heal up fine. As they finish up, he mumbles something about “Nelson” and Brooke wonders if Shane was the one who injured him.


This weekend, Tim comes by to build a birdhouse with Josh. Brooke has exchanged spare key with Tim just in case, but he still rings the doorbell to be let in. Brooke has asked to hold off on letting Josh know there’s something more between with, and Tim has agreed to take things slow.

Today, Tim has brought their old yearbook with him to show Josh — and he reassures Brooke that Shane’s not in it sine she’s worried Josh might notice the resemblance. As he flips through it, Brooke sees the name Marcus Hunt, and she finds it odd that Hunt has never mentioned that they went to high school together. Brooke muses that she doesn’t remember him, and Tim comments that “Mark” was kind of a weird kid and he was hospitalized once by some football players.

Brooke finally realizes why Hunt dislikes Shane so much, and she realizes that Shane probably lied when he said he had no idea why Hunt hated him.

Chapter 31, Eleven Years Ago

After finding Kayla dead, Shane accuses Tim. Shane says that he was outside looking for a phone signal while Tim was in the house with Chelsea and Brooke, so Tim was the only one with a chance to do it. However, Tim says that maybe Shane came in through the window and stabbed Kayla, though Shane points out that they’re on the second floor and he’s not Spider Man. Finally, Tim says he doesn’t know how Shane managed it, but he knows it’s him.

Chelsea grabs Brooke and drags her out of the room. She says that she doesn’t know which one of those guys it was, but that they should barricade themselves from them for the time being. At the same time, Brooke worries that by leaving them alone, she’d be leaving one of these guys with a murderer. But Tim tells Brooke that Chelsea is right and that they should stay in a room by themselves.

Chapters 32 – 34, Present Day

Hunt brings by coffee for Brooke in the morning, which has become their routine. She asks to speak with him privately, and she asks him why he didn’t mention that they went to high school together. Hunt admits that he remembered her, though he doesn’t understand why she’d been defending Shane.

Hunt says he could find ways to really make Shane pay for what he did to her if she wants, but Brooke says she doesn’t want. Instead, she wants him to stop and treat him humanely. But Hunt pushes back and threatens to tell to Dorothy about Brooke’s connection to Shane, hinting that she might need to come out and have a drink with him at least if she doesn’t want him to say anything.

He also admits that he’d been spying on her and knows about her son. He threatens to tell Shane about Josh, which Brooke desperately does not want. She pleads with him not to say anything, and finally Hunt tells her that she needs to be nicer to him and to start bringing him coffee in the morning.


The first person Brooke sees everyday is Correctional Officer Steve Benton, and Brooke has been on a mission to get him to smile. Brooke is telling him a cheese joke when Dorothy asks Brooke to come see her in her office.

Dorothy is upset that Brooke requisitioned a mattress for Mr. Carpenter, saying that he doesn’t need it. Brooke disagrees though, and she says that if Dorothy tries to block it, then she’s going to go to the local media and talk about how they treat patients around here. She also says that they need to have lidocaine (anesthetic) on hand, because if they don’t, then she’s going to send the patients to the E.R. and they’ll have to eat the cost of that instead.


On Brooke’s birthday, Brooke reflects on how the year has gone so far and how she and Josh are in a far better place than they were this time last year. Tonight, she and Tim are going out to dinner. When she tells Josh, he asks if Tim is her boyfriend, and she say yes.

When Tim arrives he gives her a snowflake necklace as a birthday gift, but Brooke drops it in horror, since it reminds her of the one she used to wear that Shane tried to strangle her with that night so long ago. Brooke excuses herself to collect herself in the bathroom and she reminds herself that he couldn’t have known how upsetting that gift would be for her.

Chapter 35, Eleven Years Ago

Alone with Chelsea, they talk about who could’ve done it, and Chelsea says she thinks it was Tim, since he was the only who who realistically had the opportunity to do it. She also brings up how Tim dated Tracy Gifford who ended up dead. And Chelsea tells her it’s so obvious that Tim is in love with her, but she’s with Shane so he’s frustrated.

Chapter 36 – 37, Present Day

Brooke and Tim are driving back from dinner when Tim mentions he has a great lead on a job for her. He has a friend who works at a primary care practice and they’re looking for a nurse practitioner. Brooke hesitates though, saying that she has a 1-year contract with the prison.

Tim hammers on about how it’s not safe with Shane there, but Brooke starts to say that maybe it wasn’t him and it was a dark night. Tim gets upset, saying that he saw Shane and that Shane stabbed him in the gut.

When she gets home, Brooke looks at the necklace Tim gave her again and notices that it’s missing a diamond at the exact same place as the one she used to have. She never knew what happened to that necklace. Tim had said that he’d gotten the necklace at a flea market, but she doesn’t know of any flea market in town. She starts to wonder if Tim was lying about everything.


A short while later, Brooke is still with Tim, and she’s at least scheduled an interview with the primary care practice. She hasn’t brought up the necklace. They’ve been together for two months now. Tonight, he tells Brooke that he loves her, and Brooke feels pressured to say it back, so she does.

A bit later, Brooke sees on the news that Kelli Underwood disappeared two days ago when she didn’t show up for her waitressing job, and Brooke remembers that she was the waitress that Tim had gone on a few dates with. When she brings it up, Tim says that they just grabbed a drink once after one of her shifts, but Brooke distinctly remembers him saying they went on two dates.

Tim ends up not staying over that night, and Brooke googles Kelli Underwood. She’s 27 and didn’t show up for her shift two nights ago. Brooke strains to remember whether Tim was at her place two nights ago. Kelli was very active on social media though, and Brooke sees a post from the beginning of the summer that says “Fact: Assistant Principals are GOOD KISSERS!!!!!” which makes Brooker certain it was more than just a drink.

She tries to tell herself that the lie was just because Tim is reluctant to be associated with a missing girl.

Chapter 38, Eleven Years Ago

Still barricaded in the room with Chelsea, the two girls search for something they could wield as a weapon, but come up empty. Chelsea seems certain it was Tim, saying that he was alone in the living room and was the only one who could’ve gone upstairs to kill her.

Brooke points out that Chelsea also had the opportunity, but Chelsea gets annoyed with her. Finally, Brooke says she’s leaving to check on the guys. Chelsea refuses to let her out, so Brooke kicks her in order to leave. They go down to the living room but it’s dark and there’s blood on the floor. Then, Brooke feels someone on top of her, trying to choke her with her necklace.

Chapter 39, Present Day

Today, Shane shows up again in Brooke’s examination room. He’s shackled again, and it’s clear someone has beat him up. Brooke is icy toward Hunt, knowing that her interview with the other place went well so he’s free to get her fired if he wants.

Brooke asks Shane what happened, but he declines to say. As she tries to convince him to tell her, she accidentally lets slip that her son Josh is in the 5th grade. He then asks her how old he is, and Brooke finally admits that he’s ten and that it’s his son. At his request, she shows him some photos.

He’s upset afterwards and asks to return to his cell without getting his broken rib checked out.

Chapter 40, Eleven Years Ago

As she’s being strangled, Brooke catches the sent of sandalwood. Based on that, she assumes her attacker must be Shane, which means it must be Tim’s blood on the floor.

Her necklace snaps, giving her a chance to elbow her attacker and run out of the house until she sees a truck. Someone screams her name from the house. She pleads for help and then she collapses.

Chapter 41, Present Day

Brooke thinks about how there were three dead bodies found at the house that night so long ago. Brandon, Kayla and Chelsea were found dead. Tim was stabbed, and Shane was knocked out. Tim explained after the fact that he’d been stabbed but managed to get up and hit Shane with a baseball bat.

Shane’s story was that he didn’t stab Tim. His fingerprints were on the knife because it was his knife. Tim knocked him out and that’s all he remembers. So, Brooke’s story was the tiebreaker — and she pointed the blame at Shane because of the sandalwood smell.

Tonight, Brooke and Tim are celebrating because she got the primary care center job. and Brooke has handed in her notice at Raker penitentiary. Tim has also been helping Josh with his math homework, and they celebrate the perfect score on his math test today. Meanwhile, Kelli the waitress has been missing for a week now.

They’re over at Tim’s house when Brooke finds a greens silk scarf in-between the cushions which smells of women’s perfume. She asks him about it, but Tim suggests that maybe it’s her (which it isn’t) or his mother’s. He then changes the topic. Shortly after, Brooke goes to fetch wine from the basement and notices a women’s red pump. She realizes in horror that the shoe is still attached to the person’s foot. She goes to flee the basement and realizes that the door is locked.

Chapters 42 – 43, Present Day

Brooke is panicked, realizing that Tim has been toying with her. He must’ve also had sandalwood aftershave on that night. Brooke yells to be let out, and Tim opens the door casually, saying that it must’ve been stuck.

Brooke says she wants to leave. Tim looks upset and tries to talk to her, but Brooke insists on leaving. When she opens the door there are police there, and Brooke tells them that there’s a body in the basement and that she thinks it’s Kelli. The officer then says that they’re here based on a tip that Kelli was here the night of her disappearance.

The police head down to the basement, and they confirm that the body is Kelli Underwood. Tim is read his rights and arrested. Brooke realizes she must’ve made a mistake all those years ago.


Back at home, Brooke tearfully explains to Josh that Tim won’t be coming back because he hurt somebody. Josh cries, and the two of them hold each other.

Chapters 44 – 46, Two Months Later

In the last two month, Brooke has learned that Tim was stalking Kelli while he was dating Brooke. Brooke ends up recanting her testimony, saying that it must’ve been Tim who strangled her and used the necklace which he kept.

Today, Shane is being released from prison. Brooke is here to pick him up, since he’ll be staying with her for a while. She knows he can’t get the last ten years back, but she wants to do what she can to help him. She brings him a phone and offers to buy him lunch.

As they eat their burgers, she suggests they hold off on telling Josh who his father is, and Shane agrees.


Back at the house, she introduces Josh to Shane when he gets home, and they have a snack together. Privately, Shane tells Brooke how much they are alike. Brooke secretly disagrees, thinking to herself that she knows Shane was a wild child and that Josh is definitely not that. As they sit on the couch playing video games, Brooke things of how excited she is to finally be able to tell Josh who his father is.


Her thoughts are interrupted by a phone call from Barbara Reese. Barbara pleads to talk to her and asks if she really thinks Tim would kill that girl. She says that someone else must’ve put the body there. She pleads with Brooke to go to the jail to speak with Tim. Shane finally takes the phone and hangs up for her.

Chapters 47 – 48

Over dinner, Shane says that he’s going to move back into the farmhouse. Brooke expresses horror at the thought of him being back in that house, but Shane says he doesn’t have other options. Brooke says he can stay with her as long as he needs, but Shane declines.

When, Josh asks how long Shane will be staying, and Brooke says that it’ll just be a few nights. Josh seems hesitant, but Brooke can’t seem to get him to tell her why. Later, Shane suggests that he could watch Josh during the day until he finds a job, but Brooke is unsure since she doesn’t want to fire Margie, and Josh doesn’t seem that comfortable with Shane.

That night, Shane kisses Brooke, and she lets him. They end up having sex.


Brooke sleeps poorly that night and awakes in the middle of the night. She’s had a familiar nightmare again, the one where she’s back at the farmhouse. She feels like there’s something that her memory is reaching for, but can’t quite get to.

Then she realizes she was actually awoken by the sound of the garage door opening, and she goes to check it out. She thinks she sees tire tracks in the snow in front of the garage door, but she tells herself she’s just being paranoid and goes back to sleep.

The next morning, Shane is in the kitchen making pancakes, and he offers to plow the snow from the driveway, too. Then he asks Brooke to drive him to the farmhouse. She’s reluctant since she doesn’t want to be there, but Shane says he needs to take care of things and clean stuff up, and he doesn’t have a driver’s license. Brooke reluctantly agrees.

Chapters 49 – 50

As they get together some cleaning supplies to take to the farmhouse, Shane invites Josh to join them, though Brooke doesn’t love that idea. When she goes to grab her keys to head out, they don’t seem to be where she left them, but Brooke tells herself she must’ve just been mistaken. But she wonders if Shane really did take the car out last night which would explain the tire tracks.

They arrive, and Shane offers to show Josh around. Brooke is furious, knowing that the agreement was that she would just drop him off. When they get in the house though, Shane asks for her help cleaning, and Brooke feels bad and finally agrees, trying to convince herself that it’ll be healing for her.


After they’ve been cleaning for a long time, Shane proposes taking Josh for a walk, so Brooke is left in the house alone. She checks her phone and sees a news article entitled “Local Prison Guard Found Murdered” and it turns out to be Marcus Hunt. She doesn’t know when exactly this happened, but she wonders if Shane took the car out last night and killed Marcus, knowing how much he hates him.

She starts thinking of that night again, and being back in this house finally triggers something in her memories. She knows that the body on top of hers strangling her that night wasn’t Tim’s. She’s been dating him after all and she knows he’s lankier than that — it was Shane. But she also remembers hearing Chelsea screaming upstairs at the same time.

It finally hits her that Shane and Tim must’ve planned it together.

Chapters 51 – 53

Brooke thinks back to that night and how Shane and Tim had that private conversation. Shane and Tim were also the only ones who knew that Tim had dated Tracy Gifford. Brooke wonders if that was a practice run that they did. As Brooke thinks through the events of that night, she realizes everything that happened makes sense if they planned it together.

Then, she realizes that when Brooke got away and named Shane the killer, Tim must’ve flipped on Shane and decided to go with that to save himself.

Suddenly, Brooke is desperate to have Josh back with her. She calls Shane and asks when he’s coming back, but he’s cold with her and talks about everything he missed out on. He hints that now it’s her time to miss out. Before he hangs up, Shane tells her that he’s going to make her suffer.

She tries to call 9-1-1, but there’s no service. Panicked, Brooke slips as she walks down the steps of the front door, and she hurts her ankle. Still, Brooke limps toward the road. A car is driving up, and it’s Margie. She doesn’t understand why Margie would be here, but she’s too desperate to ask questions. She tells Margie that Josh is in danger and that they need to call the police.

When Margie says there’s no service, Brooke tells her to drive to the police, but Margie stalls. Then, she admits that Margie isn’t her real name. She pulls out a gun and reveals that she’s Shane’s mother, Pamela Nelson.


Pamela says she’s wrong about Tim. Tim was innocent. He was left alive that night to be the patsy, but Brooke ruined the plan by getting away and accusing Shane.

Instead, Pamela was the one who helped Shane murder everyone — the real target was Brooke, the friends were just casualties. Pamela also killed and planted Kelli’s body in Tim’s basement for the police to find so that Brooke would suspect Tim and recant her accusation of Shane.

Pamela says she had an affair with Brooke’s father for a year when Shane was young, and he promised to leave his family for her and support her, but he didn’t. Instead, she watched Brooke and her mother live the life she should’ve had. Pamela admits to engineering the car accident that killed Brooke’s parents. Now, Pamela plans to kill Brooke so she, Shane and Josh can be a family.


In the car, Pamela and Brooke struggle over the gun, and Pamela is shot. Brooke then hurries to find Josh, who tells her that a snowdrift fell on Shane while they were building a snowman. Brooke looks to see that Shane is dead.

Chapter 54, One Month Later

A month later, Tim has now been released from prison. Meanwhile, Pamela survived her injuries and has confessed to her crimes. In addition to what Brooke already knew, Pamela admitted that Shane murdered Tracy that summer 11 years ago, and Pamela helped him cover it up.

Pamela apparently found out about Josh due to social media, and she killed Brooke’s parents for keeping it a secret from her. She also hoped it would bring Brooke back to Raker and made sure that no medical practice other than the prison would hire her by calling in complaints about Brooke. Shane helped by getting Brooke’s predecessor Elise fired so there would be a vacancy.

In present day, Josh misses Tim and encourages Brooke to go talk to him. Brooke hesitantly goes over and tries to apologize. Tim is mad at her, but then says that he doesn’t hate her. He offers to go by that weekend to hang out with Josh, and Brooke thinks to herself that it’s a good start.

Epilogue

The Epilogue is written in Josh’s POV. He talks about how Tim has been coming by more, which he’s happy about. It then reveals that a long time ago Tim had warned Josh that there was someone named Shane that was dangerous and could hurt Brooke. During their walk, Josh heard Shane being mean to Brooke on the phone, and he saw an opportunity. Josh was the one who purposely made the snowdrift fall on Shane and then he killed Shane with a large icicle.

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