Frances Mace, 14, one of three survivors rescued after the Persephone sinks—is shocked when the other two tell a starkly different tale of the luxury yacht’s demise.
Sen. Wells and his attractive son, Grey (with whom Frances had an onboard romance), claim the Persephone was swamped by a rogue wave. Frances, escaping on a raft with new friend Libby O’Martin (who perishes before they’re rescued), knows the ship was brutally attacked, and she shares her gruesome recollections in flashbacks with readers: “Blood-soaked, faces shattered.” Orphaned in the attack, Frances is encouraged by Libby’s father, Cecil, to switch identities and “become” Libby. Altered by plastic surgery and a stay at a foreign boarding school, Frances may look like Libby, but she remains doggedly determined to understand the past and exact revenge. Four years later, after Cecil dies, Frances cultivates Grey’s acquaintance, claiming amnesia about their shared history and romancing him to access his secrets. As Frances gets closer and closer to her goal of uncovering the truth, her vow of “cold destruction, calculated retribution” wavers before her old attraction for Grey, placing her in mortal danger. Frances' soapy, present-tense narration suits the overwrought circumstances, and the pace never lags.
Despite an often implausible plot, this romantic revenge thriller will keep readers turning pages in a state of breathless suspense. (Thriller. 14 & up)