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Publisher's Summary

A death, a lie, a secret. For twenty-six summers he didn’t have the courage to face the past.

Lee Hanjo is an artist at the peak of his fame, envied and celebrated. Then, on his forty-third birthday, he awakens to find that his devoted wife has disappeared, leaving behind a soon-to-be-published novel she’d secretly written about the sordid past and questionable morality of an artist with a trajectory similar to Hanjo’s. It’s clear to him that his life is about to shatter and the demons from his past will come out. But why did his wife do it? Why now?

The book forces Hanjo to reflect on a summer from his youth when a deadly lie irreversibly and tragically determined the fates of two families.

From master storyteller J. M. Lee, one of Korea’s most renowned authors, comes an unforgettable novel of hidden truths, denials, and their inevitable repercussions. Everyone still left standing from that terrible summer so long ago must finally reckon with the deceptions that started it all and, twist after shocking twist, reap both the suffering and the vindication that comes with revenge.

©2021 Jung Myung Lee. (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2022 by An Seon Jae.

Critic Reviews

“Skillfully rendered into English by translator An, the novel contemplates these issues in a murder mystery notable for its nuanced storytelling…A subtle psychological thriller.”Kirkus Reviews

“Lee excels at psychological realism, and Hanjo’s quest to learn the truth feels naturally driven by deep, painful emotions…This exquisite portrait of minds torn apart by mourning will appeal not just to mystery readers.”Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

“This is an engrossing and beautifully written mystery, with complex characters that Lee delicately strips bare.”Library Journal (starred review) 

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