The End of the Pier
(Ballantine Books, 1993)
The setting: a small, sleepy American town where secrets are almost impossible to keep. The center of town life: the Rainbow Cafe where Maud Chadwick works as a waitress, hiding behind a quiet manner the intensity and confusion of emotions she feels as her twenty-year-old son takes his final steps out of her life and into his own.
Maud’s only confidant: Sam DeGheyn, the town sheriff, who, trapped in a loveless, childless marriage, turns his attentions to Maud, and to the murders of three local women, which have occurred in the past five years. Sam’s suspicion: that the wrong man may have been convicted of the crimes and the right man may soon kill again.