A woman's long search for her abducted daughter leads her to a young woman on death row just months away from lethal injection for a crime she didn't commit.
From the day her five-year-old was abducted, Abigail Fisher vows never to stop looking until her daughter is safely returned. Despite multiple searches, twenty-three years have passed without a trace of Becky Ann. So when Abigail learns that death row inmate Megan Winnaker is the same age as her daughter, she can’t help but wonder if the kidnapper—her ex-husband—had Becky’s Ann’s face surgically altered to prevent identification.
Megan Winnaker maintains her innocence, but she will be put to death immediately if she loses her final appeal. As Abigail launches her own investigation to determine if Megan is truly her daughter, someone wants nothing more than to stop her in her tracks. Suddenly, the house of the witness who landed Megan on death row is burned to the ground. Then Abigail’s home explodes in flame leaving her fighting for her life. An alcoholic witness skips town and another is found dead from a drug overdose. To add to her plight, Abi could lose the love of her life when his former love distracts him.
While Abi waits for DNA proof, she is desperate to free an innocent inmate who might just be the one who can fill her empty arms once again.
"Upcoming on Top o' the Hour News," the commentator said, "more on the abominable plight of inmate Megan Winnaker, one of only fifty or so women sentenced to death in the United states."
Abi stepped forward, studying the photos. Joe stopped to watch, too, but then a commercial intruded.
"Suppose a radical like her turned out to be my daughter," Abi said.
"It's a sad world," he said, shrugging. "Anyone could be standing beside a murdered and never know it."
"Pity that poor girl," she said as she resumed placing utensils on the table.
"If any help was coming for her, it would have happened by now," Joe said.
"Her eyes were too close," Abi said, mumbling to herself as Joe headed for the dining room. "Nose...too long." She had never seen a close-up of Megan Winnaker in all the years the case had lasted.
"Mary Deal captures the emotions of her characters so that we know them well, yet, can never anticipate their next moves. A heart-wrenching mystery that leads you down a very crooked road." Brian L Porter, Author, 'A Study in Red - The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper' (Winner, The Preditors & Editors Best Thriller Novel, 2008), and its sequel, Legacy of The Ripper.
I read Down to the Needle for a second time I was pulled into its magnetic spell. This afternoon I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat for a long while as the suspense grew to a crescendo. Mary you out did yourself in this powerful work. Your changes tricked me into fearing the ending would be different. I clung to my shreds of tissue as I hoped for a happy ending. Every step of the way you delivered, and delivered, and delivered. Brilliant!
~ Elizabeth Sullivan, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Somerset, California