D. M. Roberts

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No one understood Zoey Young better than her one and only friend, Laura Simmons. Growing up in the same small town, Laura was Zoey's entire world, coaxing her out of her shell and propelling her into a social sphere of excitement and fun. The two were inseparable...until the day Laura was killed in a car accident.


Zoey was devastated – and completely alone.

Local journalist Deirdre Hart was also alone. Her life had lost all purpose since she had been the victim of a random and violent crime. In that one instant, she lost her baby, her husband, her whole life. Now she lived a sedate existence with only her work to keep her going.

But her work quickly became an obsession after three shootings occurred within one year, similar to the crime that had ruined her life. Relentlessly, Deirdre scoured government reports and immersed herself in the culture of gun violence, ultimately descending into the unsettling psyche of mass suicide shooters. But shockingly, the answers she was seeking had been there all along...in the anonymous blog of troubled college student, Tristan Wright. Deceptively mature and insightful, his entries grew cryptic and unsettling, and disturbing questions began to arise. But his friends and family were oblivious to his plans, as was his new girlfriend, Zoey.

Although Letting Go and Holding On is fiction, the shootings in the book are based on four real incidents that happened between 2007 and 2008. Fueled by a sense of helplessness and anger, I began to examine these crimes myself, as the media provided few answers. The character Deirdre became an embodiment of my research experience, while Zoey's story helped me to remain hopeful.