Chapter 3 | Read it from the beginning
Jill Easter wasn’t talking. She bounced a basketball in the driveway with her 3-year-old daughter as Irvine police moved methodically through her house, snapping photos and jotting notes.
Inside, detectives found what seemed the well-appointed home of ordinary suburban parents. A garage cluttered with exercise equipment. Rooms with kids’ sports trophies, an airplane mobile, a canopy bed decorated with Disney princesses.
In the master bedroom they found a copy of Easter’s self-published novel, “Holding House,” written under the pen name Ava Bjork. It had just come out. She smiled glamorously from the back cover, with styled blond hair and arresting blue eyes. Like its author, the female protagonist was a Berkeley-educated lawyer who had found work at a Bay Area firm.
She was “a patient woman with a formidable intelligence,” the novel explained, alluring to men but unlucky in love. To cope with life’s stresses, she mixed wine with Xanax. When wronged, the heroine burned for revenge and applied her patient, formidable intelligence to the task of exacting it.read more