Annabelle's life has been happy and uneventful until Betty moves to town. Betty is an exceptionally cruel bully, threatening to harm Annabelle's younger brothers if Annabelle doesn't do what Betty demands. Things escalate quickly between the two girls, especially after Betty takes up with bad boy Andy. One day while Annabelle and her best friend Ruth are talking to an apple seller who is from Germany, someone throws a rock that hits Ruth and causes her to lose her eye. Annabelle is sure that Betty and Andy are responsible for the rock but Betty claims it was local recluse Toby. Toby is definitely odd, living in a small shack in the woods, ever since he was injured in World War I. Now that the country is at war with Germany again it is easy for people to believe Betty's story that Toby was aiming for the apple seller. But Annabelle doesn't believe Toby is responsible for that nor for the sharp piece of wire stretched across the path on the way home that cut one of her brothers when he ran into it. When Betty disappears, the town is quick to assume Toby is responsible and Annabelle is in a race to find out the truth.
All the reviews of this book liken it to To Kill a Mockingbird which is a good comparison. Betty is infuriating but I can completely see her being believed by the adults in town. Toward the end of the book I was a little too aware of the author's writing style but I was still totally wrapped up in the story which ended satisfyingly with the right amount of emotion.