A police detective in a small town, discovers that the oddball suspect to a series of murders is someone who seems to be just as damaged as he is.
Esma Hale dropped two bags of her special blend into the teapot and put the lid back on, imagining the water swirling with streaks of red-brown until the color became uniform. She added milk to her china cup, waiting patiently after that, because a good pot of tea was always worth the time it took to prepare it.
Two cookies on a side plate, and everything was ready for her precious daily ritual, the ceremony that announced to all dissenting voices that civilization was not yet dead. With as much dignity as eighty-five years of living in the same body would allow her, she sat down and poured for herself. Sipping, she stared out the window across the fields, now barren except for the brown...