From the New York Times bestselling author of Ordinary People comes a gripping novel of suspense, exploring fragile family dynamics in the aftermath of tragedy... Acclaimed author Judith Guest makes a triumphant return with this poignant and powerful novel that's sure to add luster to her reputation as one of the most thoughtful observers of the human condition. Taking as part of her inspiration a baffling, unsolved true-life crime, Guest achieves in this absorbing new novel an extraordinary combination of page-turning mystery and intimate, emotionally charged family drama. The Tarnished Eye takes readers to the community of Blessed, in northern Michigan, where Sheriff Hugh DeWitt still grieves for his infant son, who died of SIDS a few years earlier. Obsessed with the past, he's endangering his future with his beloved wife and daughter. Meanwhile, up the road from the DeWitts, in one of the rich summer cottages, Paige Norbois grieves for a lost love of her own. Married to a stern and unresponsive man, Paige wills herself to stay in the marriage and sacrifice her personal feelings for the sake of her children's stability. But soon an unimaginable tragedy destroys all dreams of stability in Blessed. Paige, her husband, Edward, and their four children are brutally slaughtered in their home. Sheriff DeWitt, deeply moved by the horrific murder scene, must find answers to a string of urgent questions. When, exactly, did the murders occur? Why did nobody miss the family earlier? Who had a motive to kill? The man with whom Paige was having an affair? The business partner, who was stealing from Edward's publishing firm? Which family member was the primary, intended victim? And above all, what sort of trauma could fuel a killer's capacity to commit such hate-driven violence? Judith Guest, with her own untarnished eye and finely nuanced prose, delivers a novel that transcends genre and showcases once again her remarkable literary gifts.
Judith Guest won the Janet Heidegger Kafka Prize for her first novel, Ordinary People, which was made into the Academy Award-winning 1980 film of the same name. Her other novels are Second Heaven, Killing Time in St. Cloud (with Rebecca Hill), and Errands. She lives with her family in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Harrisville, Michigan.