A teen spends a harrowing week at an English holiday sports complex, where he befriends the ghost of a young woman doomed to repeat the last brutal hours of her life.
Since Daniel’s mother moved out, his father’s been drinking and depressed. Daniel feels responsible for the breakup because his father forced him to admit he accidentally saw his mother kissing another man. Daniel’s overweight, classmates bully him, and he hates sports, so when his father takes him to a sports center for a week, he expects the worst. While his father resorts to alcohol, Daniel meets a mysterious girl swimming in the lake. Wearing a watch that ticks backward, Lexi’s covered with cuts and bruises, invisible to everyone but Daniel and definitely peculiar. He discovers she’s a ghost, murdered during the hour the clocks turned back to end daylight saving time two years before. On the anniversary of her death, she relives the terrible ordeal. Determined to break the cycle and release Lexi’s ghost, Daniel finds the courage “to touch someone and then let them go” as the fatal hour approaches. Lexi’s appropriately quirky and enigmatic, while Daniel’s a vulnerable, likable (but unlikely) hero, whose confidence grows through his sympathetic, quasi-romantic encounter; his first-person narration adds immediacy and resonance.
An intriguing ghost story. (Ghost story. 12 & up)