When Charlie inexplicably takes his family’s plane out for a joy ride and leaves behind only debris, everyone presumes he is dead—except for his girlfriends (yes, both of them).
When 18-year-old American Aubrey arrives in Paris to attend Charlie’s funeral, she soon discovers that the dark, enigmatic Oxford student had another American girlfriend, 19-year-old Lena. While jealousy could have made them enemies, instead they forge an instant, though tenuous, pact to search for Charlie, who they believe has faked his death for unknown reasons. As they span the globe (and party hard), collecting clues in exotic locales and from a variety of sources (including questionable friends and a transgender “ladyboy”), they discover only more of Charlie’s secrets. With the narration told from both Aubrey’s and Lena’s perspectives, readers learn the young women’s mounting secrets as well. Reminiscent of Gone Girl with its elaborate twists and turns, the story leaves everyone culpable in Charlie’s disappearance—and possibly capable of murder. Trust becomes an issue, even for readers. A taut beginning eventually becomes an ending that wanes until shocking events jolt readers once again and leave room for a sequel.
An edgy thriller that keeps the guesses coming until the last word. (Thriller. 14 & up)