A teenage sleuth becomes the prime suspect in a heinous murder case in Portland, Oregon.
Nick Walker isn't the most popular kid around, but he's felt at home working for the Portland Search and Rescue team. With crush Alexis and friend Ruby at his side, Nick has helped the police many times. When a woman's body is discovered six blocks from his apartment, Nick thinks nothing of jumping into action with his SAR team. But things quickly go south when circumstantial evidence places Nick at the scene of the murder and the police do a bit more digging. Soon Nick's world is turned upside down as secrets are revealed and friends become foes. The mystery moves along at a nice pace, mixing broad character strokes with chunks of investigative exposition, evoking the feel of a solid episode of Law and Order or C.S.I. Henry tips her hand a bit by providing chapters from the killer's point of view, thus negating some of the dramatic tension. The book's climax also feels a bit rushed, with exposition and action flying fast and leaving character in the dust. Regardless, the slow burn leading up to this climax with the ground disappearing beneath Nick's feet is solid entertainment.
A sturdy if formulaic mystery. (Mystery. 12-16)