Teenage investigator Fiona Frost returns to help stop a serial killer causing vehicular accidents across the United States in Blossman’s (Fiona Frost: Shillingstone Witch, 2015, etc.) YA novel.
Fiona will soon be leaving behind her renowned forensic training program for an internship at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Agent Richard Jonas, however, has the interns forgo the 30-day program so that they can assist in catching the Blood Doll Killer, who’s been dropping blood-filled porcelain dolls from bridges onto passing cars with fatal results. Things are off to a shaky start when wealthy Remy Sinclair, who’d previously “stalked and manipulated” Fiona, joins the internship, along with Fiona’s boyfriend, Wolfe Nero, and best friend, Maddie Christie. As the killer’s murderous efforts continue in various cities, Jonas surprises the four teenagers by taking them into the field. Fiona eventually suspects a link between the Blood Doll Killer and the Bleak Society, a group that’s been hijacking TV networks and asserting a mission to bring criminals to justice. Corresponding to this is her speculation that the accidents aren’t as random as they appear. As the mystery slowly unravels, Fiona remains on call regarding another threat: a potentially deliberate salmonella outbreak. Along the way, she juggles the investigation with her personal life; Wolfe and Maddie are both miffed that she readily forgives the apologetic Remy for his past behavior. But such troubles have to wait when the killer calls Fiona to let her know she’s scheduled to die next. Blossman’s novel is a consummate mix of mystery and drama. Although narrator Fiona persistently notes Wolfe’s handsomeness, their endearing romance never overwhelms the investigation plot. However, the teens mostly just proffer theories, and the FBI’s investigation would likely have been much the same without them. The possibility of supernatural elements, though, shows Fiona’s flexibility, as she sets aside her skepticism in light of peculiar evidence. It also leads to a convoluted pile of suspects and murder scenarios that are fortunately cleared up by the time the story finds a resolution. Blossman’s prose is intelligent and refined, but it’s not above a hilarious bit in which Fiona and Wolfe endure a flatulent taxi driver.
A dramatic thriller featuring a wily, young protagonist who tackles crime with the ingenuity of a seasoned professional.