The story starts in New York City, most likely present day. Then as the story
goes on it moves to minnesota out to Erich’s farm. It is winter in Minnesota and very
Jenny is the main character of the story. She is a divorced mother of two. She is
young and pretty. She works at an art museum in New York City to support herself and
her two little girls. She is kind and sweet and has a brilliant sense of humor.
Erich is an artist. He’s mysterious and curious. His actions speak louder then
most words because he tends to be quiet during the story. On the outside he seems like
the most perfect man. The type that every woman hopes of meeting and falling in love
with. But on the inside he holds dark secrets of his past and a twisted, hateful mind.
Kevin is Jenny’s ex-husband. He’s a struggling actor with a great sense of humor.
He tends to be a little selfish, but always tries to put everything on the good side of the
hill. He cares about Jenny and his children even if it seems like he doesn’t.
Clyde is the old man who works on Erich’s farm. He basically runs the place and
had been around ever since Erich was in diapers. He worked with Erich’s father to make
his farm the most respected and well known in the county.
Rooney is Clyde’s wife. She used to be great friends with Erich’s mother. She
turns to Jen to give her a friend and some confidence. Everyone around the farm thinks
that Rooney is crazy and doesn’t know what she is doing. She’s smart and a good cook,
and loves to help.
Mark is Erich’s best friend from childhood. He is a doctor and helps out Erich
whenver needed. When Erich starts to get weird, Jen turns to Mark for help and
friendship. Mark is a helpful man who cares deeply for others. In the story it seems like
he’s falling for Jen.
Tina and Beth are Jen’s little girls. They are both young and influential.
She had been struggling ever since her and Kevin had broken up, Jen thought to
herself one night as she was rushing out of work to go pick up Tina and Beth. Life had
just gotten out of hand for her after the divorce. Money seemed like it was everything.
But she was still happy. She knew she’d pick up her children go home and make them
dinner and feel all cozy in their little apartment. That was what she was really looking
forward to for the night.
Jen knew that the next day would be very big and important. All her boss told her
was that a special unknown, yet very talented, artist would be coming to the gallery and
that she would be the one to introduce him and his work the the art sellers and buyers.
What Jen did not know, was that this man was named Erich Kruegar, and was soon to be
her future husband.
Walking into work the next morning was nerve wracking to her. Not only
because she was meeting this “infamous” artist, but also because she had to worry about
the children’s new day care center. Worrying wasn’t an abnormal thing in her schedule
though, she always had something on her mind other then herself. She knew Kevin
would be showing up that night because it was pay day. He always showed up on pay
day. He’d say to her something along the lines of, “But Jen, I’m a struggling actor? You
don’t want me to starve do you? I promise I’ll pay you back Jen, I swear!” He’d never pay
her back she thought to herself as she walked into the gallery. Mr. Hartely, the owner of
the gallery, rushed Jen through the door and gave her some paperwork. Erich would be
there soon he had told her. He also made clear to her his plans with Erich and where he
would be and at what times. It was her job to arrange the artwork to a precise order that
was given to them by Erich. Jen stared in awe at Erich’s work. He’s great she thought to
herself as Mr. Hartely walked out the door. Day dreaming about the man on the front of
the pamphlet she found herself thinking of what type of life this handsome man led, if he
was married. All of a sudden, she felt something behind her. She had bumped into Erich
He must have let himself in without Jen hearing him. He was early she thought.
Staring caught herself staring at him, he is gorgeous she thought to herself with a smile.
Making polite conversation they hit it off. Erich was considerate, intelligent, and clean
cut. Erich had insisted on taking her out for lunch. Knowing this will completely throw
her bosses schedule haywire, she hesitantly agreed. They immediately hit it off. She felt
like he really cared as he stared at her every movement. After lunch they bought coffee
and walked back to the gallery. Meeting her boss at the door she knew she was in for it.
Erich quickly introduced himself and took full credit for them being late. Mr. Hartely
nodded and opened the door to the gallery. The customers would be there soon and then
the gallery would be full, loud, and full of life. After the showing of the artwork, Erich
insisted on walking Jen to the day care to pick up her children then to take them out for
supper. Him being very financially secure, took it upon himself to invite Jen everywhere.
Jen felt uncomfortable at first about all the money he had been spending on her. But
when he insisted that he didn’t mind and that it was all his pleasure to do so. She gave in.
After about a month Erich brought up and important issue, marriage. The thought
of such commitment scared Jen to death. Thinking about what had happened to her last
marriage she was very hesitant upon answering. But after thinking it through she figured
it would be the best thing to do. It would take her children out of this environment and it
would make her happy. Because Erich made her happy.
Kevin had shown up one night when Erich was over visiting Jen and the kids.
Erich stood amazed as Jen handed Kevin over some money. While Kevin was there Jen
had explained to him what was going on between her and Erich. Kevin didn’t think it
was such a hot idea, but he took it as a sign of her moving on and he knew there was
nothing he could do about it, so he left.Erich was enraged that Jen gave Kevin money
for no reason, even when Kevin didn’t pay any type of child support or anything. But
then he thought, well soon we will be gone and I will take her away from all of this, and
that is what he did.
After the Wedding they moved on up to Minnesota. This is where all of the fun
began. They did not have a honeymoon because they didn’t want to leave the kids at such
a young age with people they did not know. Erich had also told the town that Jen was a
widow and not a divorced woman. And the emptiness of the farm also seemed just a
little bit fishy to her. But she just figured it was nothing and thought about all the good
things. She noticed slight changes in Erich’s behavior. He was very obsessed over his
deceased mother, and he had ill memories of his father. He cried in his sleep and
wandered secretly around the house. Jen didn’t know what to do, so she just tried to
ignore it. But when scary things started happening to her, she started to worry.
Erich would leave in the morning and go out to his little cabin in the woods. No-
one besides him was aloud there, and nobody but him and his mother had ever been
there. He told Jen it was his special place to be at peace and where he felt he could work
his best. Jen understood this, thinking nothing really of it. Until, Erich started to leave
for days at a time. This really worried Jen, she also missed her husband. They had only
been married such a short while, she just could not understand why all of this stuff was
happening. When she went on a walk one day she stumbled upon something. It was a
graveyard. It was the Kruegar Family Graveyard. Opening the fence she entered the
little space and looked around. She scanned all the gravestones, but none shown up with
the name “Caroline Bonardi”. Caroline was Erich’s mothers name. Then deep in the
corner, under a big tree was a stone. Jen slowly walked across to look at the stone as she
peered down a hand on her shoulder startled her. She turned around to find Erich
standing behind her. His face looked stern and he looked upset. She looked at him
innocently and his face calmed he told her of his mother, her accident, and why she was
buried in the far corner. Jen thought about everything he said, and asked herself, why
doesn’t this all work out?
Weeks passed and she had become quite close Clydes wife. Clyde was the man
who ran the farm while Erich was away. Rooney was Clyde’s wifes name. She was a
simple woman, who was made out to be crazy and looney. Which she was not. Jen knew
this right away, just after spending some time with her. Rooney told Jen a lot of things
Erich had left out. How when Erich was young, he was really very attached to his
mother. He never wanted Caroline out of his sight. Jen never let on that she knew any of
this stuff when Erich was around. But then really strange things began to happen. One
was when Kevin turned up dead.
The police had stopped by to talk to Jen about Kevin’s death. He was found in a
nearby river his car had been run off the bank and into the rapid icy water. In the car was
Jen’s jacket, so the police were led to believe that Jen had something to do with the
accident. But truth was, Jen didn’t even know that Kevin had been up and around
Minnesota at the time. Jen was confused. Soon enough everyone thought she was a
crazy confused woman, they thought she was dangerous because she lied.
Jen felt like there wasn’t a care in the world, but then Mark showed up. Mark
believed that Jen was telling the truth. He was on her side. Together they tried to figure
everything out. Then one day. Jen came home to find that Erich had taken Tina and
Beth away. He called later that night saying he wouldn’t be back. He made her feel
guilty by saying things such like telling her that she promised that she’d never leave him,
and that she said they’d be together forever. Jen was stressed beyond belief, how in the
world did he find out about her trying to leave.
She then knew that the only thing she could do was find that cabin out in the
woods. She set out, day after day, not knowing where and when she would find it, and
then one day, she stumbled upon it. She broke into the cabin by breaking a window and
unlocking the door. Upon entering she felt this cold chill go right through her. She
looked around, amazed. Art work lined the walls. But it wasn’t Erich’s artwork. It was
not his scribbled signature. It was one of a woman named Caroline Bonardi. Looking
around Jen stood in a maze of art supplies. She just couldn’t understand. What did Erich
do with all the time he spend here, if all he did was copy over the signature of his mother.
So she looked around. She found a closet, or what appeared to be a closet. She opened
to the door and to her horror, on an easel, was a picture of her, her 2 children, dead. It
was a brutal picture. She was scared, this was Erich’s work. Taking the painting under
her arm, she ran.
As soon as she got back to the house, she called for Mark. Mark arrived at the
house no more then 10 minutes later. In horror she showed the picture to Mark. All of a
sudden there was a knocking at the door. Who could that be? They quickly shoved the
painting into the closet, and opened the door. There stood the sheriff. He looked at Jen
and said, “We need to speak with Erich, where is he?” Jen told him that he had gone a
little vacation with the children and should be back soon. The sheriff nodded and then
said to her, “Your husband is a fraud, those were his mothers paintings, not his,” and then
Jen couldn’t take it anymore she turned to Mark, and started to sob.
It was Erich’s 35th birthday on that next day. It was nearly 20 years ago that
Caroline had died. Sad enough that she had died on his birthday. It tore him up. Then it
hit her, she realized what she had to do in order to get Erich to come back. Ever since
Erich was a little boy he had never left the farm on his birthday. Jen had always
resembled Caroline. That is why Erich had picked her. It had taken her this long to
realize this. She knew what she had to do. In order to get her children back and to help
Erich, she had to pretend to be Caroline.
There was a picture of Caroline that Erich had treasured. Jen found some clothes
that were basically identical to those Caroline was wearing in the picture, she put them
on, and went outside to sit in Caroline’s chair. Mark was sitting inside waiting. Then all
of a sudden came Erich running, he was dressed just the same as Jen, just like Caroline
was in the picture. He had a gun. Mark had called the sheriff to come down. Mark ran
outside in fear that Erich would shoot at Jen. Jen was just as scared and then, “BOOM”.
Erich was dead.
Jen had began to cry. Mark had put his arms around Jen and hugged her.
Everyone had come running. The sheriff arrived. Erich’s body was taken away. But
where were her children. Erich had whispered that he had been staying 6 hours north of
there and that the children were alone. But now Erich was gone, and they didn’t even
know where to start. Jen was going crazy. Her little babies were alone, in the cold. They
would freeze to death. Mark recalled a house that Erich had owned, it was the first place
they checked. He was right.
And then it seemed to come to an end. Jen couldn’t go back to New York, she
had no life there, and yet, she had no life in Erich’s house either. Mark had told her that
he had a little house on a lake that he rented out. Jen took it. There she lived and raised
her children. Traumatized for life she would stay, but she at least knew that all her
troubles were over, and she’d always have a friend when she needed one, and that was
This book was really good. A page turner at any rate. I loved it. It was full of
suspense and mystery. I kept asking myself, “What’s going to happen next?” I just could
not put it down. The book told a good story though. It taught about lies, deceit, cheating.
That’s life, right? It seemed like the story was real. As much as we all know it was not. It
could have been. And it could have happened to anyone.