House on Fire

House on Fire

by Bonnie Kistler

Overview: Divorce lawyer Leigh Huyett knows all too well that most second marriages are doomed to fail. But five years in, she and Pete Conley have a perfectly blended family of her children and his. To celebrate their anniversary, they grab some precious moments of alone time and leave Pete’s son Kip, a high school senior, in charge of Leigh’s fourteen-year-old daughter Chrissy at their home.

Driving back on a rainy Friday night, their cell phones start ringing. After a raucous party celebrating his college acceptance to Duke and his upcoming birthday, Kip was arrested for drunk driving after his truck crashed into a tree. And he wasn’t alone—Chrissy was with him. Twelve hours later, Chrissy is dead and Kip is charged with manslaughter. Kip has always been a notorious troublemaker, but he’s also a star student with a dazzling future ahead of him. At first, Leigh does her best to rally behind Pete and help Kip through his ordeal. Until he changes his story, and claims that he wasn’t driving after all—Chrissy was, and he swears there is a witness.

Leigh is stunned that he would lie about such a thing, while Pete clutches onto the story as the last, best hope to save his son, throwing his energy and money into finding this elusive witness. As they hurtle toward Kip’s trial date, husband and wife are torn between loyalty to their children and to each other, while the mystery of what really happened that night intensifies.

This richly conceived and tightly plotted exploration of family and tragedy will have you racing toward its shocking and thought-provoking conclusion.

Carole Zwicker (04/03/19): House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler is a family drama that will have the reader wondering where one's loyalty should lie in a blended family in crisis. Attorney Leigh Huyett and contractor Pete Conley have been married for five years. This is a second marriage for both and the couple have brought together their children from their previous relationships. On a weekend when Leigh and Pete have left her daughter Chrissy, 14, with his son Kip, 18, a horrible accident occurs. Chrissy and Kip are on their way home from a party when their vehicle slams into a tree. Within 12 hours, Chrissy is dead and Kip has been arrested for the manslaughter of his step-sister. This tragedy drives a stake through the heart of this family. With broken hearts on both sides, Leigh and Pete are doing their best to be fair and supportive while grieving. What would you do and whose side would you be on? The author has included a few other storylines which seem to deter from the main plot. Hence only 4 stars but definitely a book well worth reading.
Rating: ****

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