Five very different students hatch a plot to escape justice when one of them kills their obnoxious professor.
Ivy was once the queen bee of her school but did not use her power wisely and has fallen from grace. Mattie worries that his boyfriend might be drifting away from him. Kinley, daughter of a prominent black politician, always makes straight A’s but has a secret that no one would guess. Smarter-than-he-looks stoner Tyler is on probation but can’t extract himself from his dangerous promise to his brother. Cade, the son of a cold and wealthy Japanese-American businessman, despises his father but shares his explosive temper. (Ivy, Mattie, and Tyler are evidently white.) The five all take the malicious, even sadistic Dr. Stratford’s summer psychology course. When Cade punches him, the professor falls back dead. The five students dispose of the body and then try to keep their parts in his death secret. Suspicions and rivalries develop among them, however, and even though the body has not been found, Kinley and Tyler concoct a plan to save themselves if the others should fall. Morgan weaves her plot together through third-person chapters that alternate focus from teen to teen, keeping their personalities nicely distinct throughout. Some feel guilt and some only fear, but as they weave their ever more entangled web, readers will anticipate how they might become snarled in it themselves.
A fascinating psychological thriller. (Thriller. 12-18)