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The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Copyright © 2021 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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Cover art by Arcangel Images

Cover copyright © 2021 Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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Mulholland Books / Little, Brown and Company

Hachette Book Group

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First ebook edition: March 2021

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ISBN 978-0-316-70359-8

LCCN 2020946792


Table of Contents


Title Page



Chapter 1: Blindfolded

Chapter 2: See You Again Tomorrow

Chapter 3: Drop Point

Chapter 4: Reflections on the Lake

Chapter 5: Breathe

Chapter 6: From There to Here

Chapter 7: Lady of the Flies

Chapter 8: Accounting

Chapter 9: Red Deer

Chapter 10: File Folders

Chapter 11: Inland Beach

Chapter 12: Password

Chapter 13: Ghoul Camp

Chapter 14: Spooked

Chapter 15: Midnight Raid

Chapter 16: Blood

Chapter 17: Wild Things

Chapter 18: Here and Gone

Chapter 19: Pack of Wolves

Chapter 20: Perfectly Reasonable Explanations

Chapter 21: Little Red

Chapter 22: Culture Clash

Chapter 23: The Thud

Chapter 24: Caller

Chapter 25: Off Course

Chapter 26: Letting Jezebel Loose

Chapter 27: Confessions

Chapter 28: Search Party

Chapter 29: The Box

Chapter 30: Puzzle Pieces

Chapter 31: Take Chase

Chapter 32: Memory

Chapter 33: Hiding

Chapter 34: Arrival

Chapter 35: Aftermath

Discover More

About the Author

Also by Nina Siegal

To my daughter, Sonia,

and all the girls who are finding their way

Explore book giveaways, sneak peeks, deals, and more.

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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

—Henry David Thoreau

Chapter 1Blindfolded

They handed her a blindfold. She looked at it, turning it over in her hands. It was black, made of a thick fabric, with extra flaps on the sides to make sure no light seeped in at the edges of her vision. It reminded Karin of the blindfolds her mother would wear when they took an international overnight flight from the US back to the Netherlands. She knew that this object would handicap her, taking away her favorite sense, one she relied on pretty heavily. She paused, for just a moment. “Put it on, all of you,” he said, with a harsh urgency that startled her. Goodbye, sight.

Karin lifted it to her face, pulled the straps over her crown, and instinctively closed her eyes. When she opened them, she tried to see what she could see. It wasn’t exactly nothing. There were tiny specks of light, some of them white, some yellowish blue. A little bit of light shining in, like particles of dust. That was it. Had she thought that she’d see shadows or shapes beyond the fabric? Maybe. But no, it was dark enough that she was, essentially, blinded.

After that they all were led by their shoulders to the car, told to step up, to lean forward, to sit back. Confusing instructions when you’re still trying to make sense of the blindness. The hands that moved her were rough, not gentle. Hers seemed to be a man’s, and he seemed to be in a rush. The hands reached over her body and she could feel his hot breath on her face, hear a little grunting as he pressed her seat belt into its buckle with a resounding click. Then he announced to all of them, “Absolutely no talking,” and the doors were slammed shut, clunk, clunk, clunk.

She knew that she was in the back seat of a car, not the front, because she could feel the door at her left elbow. What else could she figure out, with her current handicap? She tried to think of it as a game, a sensory experiment, to calm her nerves. And realized that the strongest sensation she had at the moment was the vibration of her own body. Her heart was pounding. She raised a hand to her chest and then put her other hand on top of the first, astonished at the luxury of that other powerful sense: touch.

Had she known that she’d be this terrified? What was making her so scared? Knowing that they’d all be dropped out in the woods, forced to find their way to their campsite without GPS, in darkness? Or was it—and of course it more likely was—the fact that they were heading to the place where she’d last seen her father alive, a place that had so many positive memories of being with him, but also that would remind her, in so many little ways, of his death? It had been her choice to join the Scouts in Ede, so her dropping would be in the Hoge Veluwe Park. All the other options in the country had seemed too small and too tame—the Veluwe was a real national park where it would actually feel like going on safari, a place where you could actually get lost.

Her mom had asked her about a million times if this was really a good idea, but Karin had just insisted. She knew it so well, she had told her mom, and she needed to feel comfortable there,

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