The rise in summer temperatures led to drought, an invasive beetle infestation, wildfires, crop failure, farm foreclosures, migrant farm worker job losses, and a widening racial rift in one New Hampshire town. Even worse, that four-degree bump prompted the discovery of a body Sadie Kessler hoped no one would ever find.
Sadie has spent the past three decades trying to forget about the muddy grave in the woods, the murder she and her estranged childhood friend Daniela covered up as kids. Now an entomologist with the state forestry department, Sadie is on the verge of proving an invasive beetle is taking advantage of the drought and triggering forest fires, when she receives a text from Daniela. They found him. Daniela asks Sadie to return home because her undocumented father has been falsely implicated in the decades-old murder and may be deported if they don’t reveal the truth.
Ignoring threats from the presumed killer, Sadie returns to the woods of her youth to help Daniela search for evidence that will exonerate Daniela’s father, knowing it could destroy not only her career, but the reputations of people she cares about. The real killer follows her into the woods—and so do the forest fires that edge closer as local officials dismiss Sadie’s warnings about the beetles.
Faced with truths she does not wish to see, Sadie realizes her scientific theories are fallible and the people she trusts harbor deadly secrets about what really happened in those woods three decades earlier. As she is forced to decide what she is willing to sacrifice to protect the people and the forest she loves, Sadie will learn that no one can hold back the power of Nature—whether in the form of species migration, rising temperatures, wildfire, or the truth.
FOUR DEGREES will appeal to fans of All the Missing Girls, History of Wolves, Red Lightning, Flight Behavior, and The Dry.