Marybeth Mayhew Whalen, known her her suspense novels, bring the story to small town South Carolina in Only Ever Her.

Annie Taft is getting married. That’s the news that has the small rural town of Ludlow in an uproar. Their favorite daughter was only three years old when her mother was murdered and she became the town’s unofficial mascot. Raised by her aunt Faye alongside her cousin Clary, Annie’s good fortune is the town’s.

The book tracks the two weeks up to the wedding which increases the suspense after the man convicted of murdering Annie’s mother, Cordell Lewis, is released from prison after DNA evidence shows someone else was probably responsible. Understandably upset over the ruling, Annie turns to her old friend, Kenny, who has carried a torch for Annie for years. Their relationship is one they’ve both kept private.

On the day Lewis is released, Annie disappears. She’s been known to take off to be alone when stressed, and at first her aunt and cousin and even her bridesmaids cut her some slack. But as the wedding draws closer with no sighting or text or call from Annie, it becomes clear they are missing their bride.

People from Annie’s past, her fiancee, the local sheriff, all converge on Faye’s house, waiting for word as an extensive search takes place. With the story told from many viewpoints, it’s clear that everyone has their own theory about what’s happened to Annie.

A character-driven suspense novel where secrets must be revealed between people who all have one thing in common: their love for Annie.