Forty years of atonement ought to count for something. After all, Billie Warren was just a child when she did what she did.
She’d hoped the memory of that one horrible act would be diluted by time, by the birth of her daughter, and the death of her father. But the recollection was always there, following her around like a pack of lost dogs.
Lately, the dogs hadn’t stirred, and, if they did, Billie didn’t have time to notice them.
About BILLIE WARREN: A Novel
When she was just nine years old, Billie Warren did something horrible to Sadie Byrd, the town crazy who was bred like a dog by a husband who sold her children.
For Billie, every day since then has been an act of contrition. She is a good police chief of her small Lowcountry town. She’s a dutiful daughter to her mother with Alzheimer’s, a devoted mom to her teenage daughter. And, as much as she hates to admit it at her age, a good grandparent.
But this perfect small-town cop’s fragile world explodes when Sadie Byrd returns after 40-year absence to name one of the most respected men in the state of South Carolina as the murderer of Caroline Norris, a twelve-year-old girl who was savagely beaten to death, and the only murder in the town’s history. Is Miss Sadie telling the truth? Billie is determined to find out but is derailed by events that make it clear there will be no justice for Sadie Byrd.
What starts out as a final conciliatory act on Billie’s part, ends up on a wild trek through black market adoption and, ultimately, a duel with powerful people who are prepared to kill to hide the truth.