Each summer, Kate Beckett's family rented a house on the lake in Sandpoint, ID. The summer she was sixteen, her feelings for the local hand ranch's son, nineteen year old Tommy Ibara morphed into a love relationship. No one ever made her feel as Tommy did. One evening, her parents, Senator Beckett and his wife, left Kate in charge of her younger brother, Michael, while they went out. Kate made plans with Tommy to visit later when Michael was sleeping. She had taken extra care in preparing herself for Tommy, using this expensive lotion that had gold flecks whipped through it that left your skin, silky and shimmery. When Tommy arrived, Michael was still awake and torturing his older sister, so Kate promised two month's allowance and he could watch movies in her room, while Tommy and her went out to the lake. While making out, a loud bang drew them to the front of the house where a car had knocked over planters on the front stoop. Frightened, Kate went to check on Michael but couldn't find him. Tommy and Kate searched the house, the neighbors and called his friends looking for him. Finally, she had to accept that Michael was missing and called the local police, and then dialed her parents. When they arrived home, they were frantic and the Senator blamed Kate for Michael's disappearance yelling: she was too busy being a slut with the local hand ranch instead of watching her brother. Tommy attempted to defend her against her father, but Kate just demanded him to leave. Kate had become the pariah in her family. Several days later the local police got a tip – Emerson Flannery's truck was seen fleeing the Beckett's house. Most of the Flannery's were drunks and hicks. Arriving at Emerson's house they found Michael's body: he had been shot in the chest and head. Emerson wrote a note saying he was sorry for everything that he had done and then shot himself. Senator Beckett told Kate, “It should have been you.”
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Fourteen Years Later
Kate had dedicated her life helping to find missing children. As the main spokesperson for St. Anthony's Foundation, she dealt with the families and the media. Being called back to Sandpoint, she is to set up a call center for missing Tricia Fuller, help sift through information regarding the case and deal with the media. It was nice to see her old friend, CJ, who is now the local sheriff and John Burkhart, the wealthy millionaire from next door, but she was surprised to learn she would be working with Tommy Ibara. Tension swirled between the two, both uneasiness and sexual.
After Senator Beckett had Tommy's scholarship pulled and threatened to have the bank call in on his parent's mortgage immediately, Tommy went into the Army and became a Ranger. He now operates a security business. When Kate first saw him, she noticed right away he had become cold and distant, not the kind, loving, easy going Tommy she knew fourteen years ago. But then, she assessed herself and realized she was no longer the same. She was trapped by her family which shaped her to who she is and had to let Tommy deal with the fallout from her father on his own. She dealt with the fall out as well, attempting to commit suicide by slashing her wrists.
Kate, Tommy and CJ work closely together to find Tricia. Kate and Tommy fought on and off trying to keep their feelings for each other hidden, then one night, Tommy rides over to Kate's townhouse and they have sex. After that, things become a little better between the two. They talk of what happened to each other after Michael's murder and find an even ground.
In the meantime, Tricia is being kept in a trailer hidden deep in the woods, handcuffed to the metal bed. Her kidnapper comes every day and brings her water, shakes and sandwiches from her favorite diner. He even gives her a necklace and tells her he loves her but beats Tricia whenever she is “bad”.
Soon Tommy finds a possible connection to several other cases of murdered girls, but the problem is the man who was supposed to have killed all six girls had committed suicide. Kate and Tommy set out to visit the man's mother to see if she could help shed some light on the case. She tells then that the police kept talking about a lotion with gold in it and there was no way her son would have bought something like that. After visiting her, they realize that the man who killed himself was not the killer, someone else is but they had no substantial proof.
After Kate and Tommy left, the sister of the man everyone thought killed the six girls, calls an FBI agent. She was told to call him anytime anyone came around asking about her brother. She told him about Kate and Tommy and the man on the other end had a hard time keeping it together. He almost blows his cover.
Tommy leaves Kate at her townhouse and heads for home, even though he wanted to stay. Upon entering her townhouse, Kate is assaulted. Fortunately, Tommy turns around to come back and finds her unconscious and takes her to the hospital. After the doctor determines she has a concussion along with contusions he releases her to Tommy's care. Tommy nurses her back to health.
Soon after, CJ finds a bottle of lotion that has gold slivers in it in the woods. Kate and Tommy are slowly making a connection between her brother's case and Tricia's. The lotion is extremely expensive and only purchasable in high end department stores. Tommy remembered how Kate's skin glowed and sparkled in the moonlight the night Michael was kidnapped. Kate's mom had bought both Kate and her twin the lotion for their sixteenth birthday because they were always taking hers.
Tommy, CJ and Jackson, Tricia's dad, set up a search party where the small jar had been found. Using Tommy's sophisticated instruments, they locate a building with the windows bordered up. Upon entering, they find Tricia, beaten but alive. Rushing her to the hospital, the doctors told Jackson his daughter will be fine. She is unable to give a description of the person who took her since he kept his hoodie on. ¬While Kate and Tommy were visiting Tricia, the nurse brings in the necklace she was wearing which causes her to freak out yelling, “Keep that away from me! That's not mine, he gave it to me!” Kate sees the necklace and tells Tommy and CJ that it was hers. It was her grandmother's necklace that she'd given her. Kate and Tommy are sure there is some connection to the two cases: Michael's and Tricia's, but can't find it.
While leaving the hospital, Tommy is cornered by the media. He has never spoken to them but does so now. The reporter misrepresents what he said regarding his and Kate's relationship on the news. Kate, once again, pushes Tommy away.
Kate has lunch with John and stays the night so she could stay hidden away from the press. John leaves early the next morning and Kate decides to explore the beach. She comes across a learning disabled boy, who is John's housekeeper's son, and he panics when he sees her. He's playing with a handheld toy and pleads for her “not to tell him, he doesn't like it when I play with his treasures.” Taking the toy, she realizes it's a Game boy that could be Michael's. She flips it over and sees “Property of Michael Beckett” written across the back. Michael had been playing his when he disappeared. Following the boy, she finds a chest with different articles, earrings, necklaces etc. in John's boathouse. John walks in behind her and hits her across the head, then forces her into his boat. He handcuffs her hands and beats her, then pulls a gun out threatening to kill her. He tells her that they all leave, all meaning the girls. John tells Kate that he was kidnapping her that night, not Michael, but the drugs he gave him wore off and he had to kill him. Riding deeper into the water, he stalls the boat near a dock. Kate fights for her life after he shoots her in the chest. She realizes she is going to die, and then wishes she had told Tommy that she loved him and didn't push him away again.
Meanwhile Tommy has not been able to get in touch with Kate and is worried. Tommy and CJ arrive at John's house and see that Kate has been kidnapped but they don't know where until Kate drags herself over to the GPS panel and switches it on. Both Tommy and CJ take off to get to the boat by land while the police ride out in boats. Both Tommy and CJ take their rifles and kill John in a head shot. Tommy seeing Kate soaked in blood is petrified that she's already dead, but she wasn't. Rushing to the hospital, she goes into surgery. During recovery, she is surprised Tommy is still there. Tommy tells her he isn't going anywhere, he was always going to take care of her.
The next day, her parents arrive along with her sister, and they all apologize for treating her badly and also apologize to Tommy. They tell her they love her and want to be part of her life. She accepts their apology and the fact that they want to be part of her life but she tells them that Tommy is also part of her life and he isn't going anywhere.
Best part of story, including ending:
I enjoyed the suspense of the story and the love story between Kate and Tommy. They were finally going to get their chance and I wanted to see how it was going to pan out.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was when John asked Kate over to lunch and the housekeeper's disabled boy, who did odd jobs for John, mumbles to them about the missing girl Tricia. Of course, John knows where the missing girl is so he down plays what the boy understands but Kate stands up for him, explaining that they often know more than what adults think. It's not a big scene but what I liked was that Kate spoke the truth about disabled children and defended them.
Opinion about the main character:
Kate was a multifaceted character, who was molded by the strict upbringing she received along with the scar of what happened to Michael. The mean treatment of her family contributed greatly to who she ultimately was but underneath I found the young, vibrant girl she was at sixteen.