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In November 2012, a thirty-seven-year-old single mother vanishes from Omaha, Nebraska. Cari was known to others as a doting daughter, a devoted mother, a thoughtful friend, and a reliable employee. She has never been the type to abandon her duties and obligations. She would never abandon her son or her dying father as he is taking his last breath. However, the texts from her phone indicated a different story.
In a span of over thousands of text messages and emails, Cari dumps her new boyfriend, quits her promising career, plans to leave her familial home, sell all of her belongings, and give up custody of her son. Her boyfriend, Dave Kroupa, and her manager believe that this behavior is odd for Cari but, still believe and accept her texts at face value. Her mother, Nancy Raney, believes that this isn't the behavior of her daughter. She is certain that her daughter is in danger and reports her missing. The police are skeptical of her claim of someone posing to be her daughter.
Nancy and a handful of Cari's friends are afraid of what happened to Cari. However, Dave is certain that Cari is stalking him and grows fearful of her. He has never seen or heard Cari but, the stalker always remains one step ahead of him. His stalker also seems to be obsessed with his girlfriend, Shanna Liz Golyar. The stalker uses every opportunity available to be verbally abusive towards Liz and even threatens her.
In three years, the stalker sends over twelve thousand emails and texts to their victims. The stalker communicates with Cari's mother, Nancy along with stalking Dave and Liz endlessly. Dave and Liz receive threats of death, vandalism, and burglaries. While the stalker might have sent the messages in Cari's name, the identity of the real stalker is tangled behind webs of deceit and lies.
I wasn't familiar with the case and this was my first "real crime" novel. However, I must say, I am hooked. I didn't read the description of the novel so, finding out how the real culprit was a mystery to me. After a few chapters into the book, I had a feeling of the mastermind was. I was quite surprised that they were able to pull off such a ruse given how Dave describes her. The author wove an enticing read and I love getting the background behind each of the characters. A true gem for a true crime fanatic!
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