After suffering unthinkable trauma at the hands of an online criminal mastermind, two teens join forces to fight back.
Jesse leads a life dictated by King, a stranger who watches his every move and forces him to commit unspeakable acts for his wealthy online clientele. King is a “capper,” capturing other people’s explicit online media and using it as blackmail. After the disappearance of Jesse’s father years ago, Jesse and his family have lived with his uncle. But soon, Jesse’s uncle began abusing him, quickly dragging him into the sordid online underworld ruled by King. Now King insists that Jesse recruit young boys to put on shows for clients, “or else”: He’ll murder Jesse’s little sister. As his already suffocating world closes in on him, Jesse receives a package from Miranda, another teen caught in King’s web, who claims she wants to help. The two of them join forces and begin searching for the man behind the screen that’s destroyed their lives. Lyons sets a bleak stage riddled with perversion and violence. Though it’s a cinematic thriller, the focus on the timely issues of online harassment, abuse and suicide set it apart. Unfortunately, the ending rushes in with none of the emotional resolution readers will want so badly for Jesse and Miranda.
A high-speed thriller elevated by its unflinching focus on the harrowing effects of online bullying. (Thriller. 14-18)