For more than twenty years, Ellie Enderlin has lived in the shadow of her sister’s murder. Before that, her life was overshadowed by Lila, her brilliant mathematical genius of a sister.
Lila always knew her path—one that included a professional quest for proof of mathematical theorems. Ellie floundered, unsure of her direction.
In the months following the murder, Ellie turned to someone she considered a friend—Andrew Thorpe, an English professor and a great listener—only to find herself betrayed when he turned her confidences into a novel that became a bestseller. In the novel, he named one of Lila’s colleagues (and her lover) as the murderer. However, the police had never arrested anyone for the murder.
Pursuing her own career now as a professional coffee buyer, Ellie’s work takes her to far-flung places, including Nicaragua, and it is here that she first sees Peter McConnell, a self-imposed recluse who has escaped the prying eyes of those who have read about him in the book—”Murder By the Bay”—and also to distance himself from the tragedy of a life cut short.
Conversing with him, Ellie learns that Lila had left behind a notebook, one that she always carried with her. It included many of her mathematical equations.
When Ellie also comes to question that Peter McConnell actually committed the crime, she begins a quest—one that leads her back to San Francisco and surrounding areas, meeting and interviewing and finally arriving at her own conclusions about what happened.
Will Ellie find the truth? Will the mathematical equations Lila sought to prove finally reach realization? And what will Ellie rediscover about her relationship with her sister and about her own somewhat superficial connections to others?
This tale is much more than a crime novel—it is a story of life interrupted. Not just the life of the murdered girl, but the sister left behind, whose own connections with her sister were severed by another person’s actions. It is also a story of betrayal, secrets and, finally, a peaceful resolution.