The Secret Hour is by Luanne Rice Description via book jacket:
Beneath his careful and controlled demeanor, attorney John O’Rourke is a man whose life is in turmoil. Since the death of his wife, he has been juggling the rigors of a controversial capital murder case and the demands of raising two children. Eleven year old Maggie’s crooked bangs and rumpled clothes eloquently reproach John’s earnest but haphazard attempts at mothering. Teddy, John’s stalwart fourteen year old has quietly assumed responsibilities far too weighty for his young shoulders, as he longs for the way things used to be and tries to ignore the hostility that has swirled around his family since his father took on the defense of a killer whose crimes have rocked Connecticut.
A brick through the window one autumn morning signals a dangerous new level of hatred. But a quieter event also takes place that day. A woman arrives on the O’Rourke doorstep to find a household on the brink of chaos but brimming with love–and, she hopes, answers. Kate Harris is searching for the key to her own mystery. Six months ago her younger sister fled far from their beloved home following a devastating confrontation. After mailing a single postcard from the New England shore, Willa Harris vanished. With only a postmark to go on, Kate takes a leave of absence from her job as a marine biologist to come to the seaside Willa adored–and discovers the one man who may be able to help her.
What a great story. When John takes on the case of a murder on death row, he doesn’t gain many friends in his community that he has known since childhood. John has lots of time separating his work from home life. When Kate walks in, you can feel the attraction the two have. Her story is just as sad as his. And the web of conspiracy all around them insane. Meanwhile with all that going on they are able to rescue a kidnapped woman, and bring the guilty to justice. A great book taking place in a small CT town. People are very similar to what you would see in small town living.