Can Alice ever unravel her relationship with her twin sister, Cellie?
Alice and Cellie Monroe are connected by blood, tragedy, and secrets. But this connection is of little use to them in the Oregon State Mental Health Hospital on Savage Isle. Alice is familiar with Savage Isle. She and Cellie were here before, after an ill-fated trip to the beach that ended in violence. But this time it's different. This time, Cellie is locked in the heavily guarded D ward, while Alice is in with the general population, where she makes friends with a boy named Chase. Alice and Cellie are charged with setting the fire that killed their closest friend, but it was Cellie who set the fire, and Alice knows it's only a matter of time before Cellie makes another move. The only way to be safe, Alice decides, is to kill Cellie first. Jean weaves Alice's past into her present through journal entries, which track Alice's journey from orphan to foster kid to resident and provide relief from the tension of the mental hospital. Cellie's romantic relationships are another sweet counterbalance. The suspense does not quite earn the eventual resolution, which is quick and neatly packaged. The bulk of the book, though, rings authentic.
Realistic characters make good use of a gothic setting that will attract anyone with a taste for the edge. (Thriller. 12-16)