BETRAYAL by Gregg Olsen


From the "Empty Coffin" series, volume 2
Age Range: 12 - 16
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Taylor and Hayley Ryan, the twin girls who can connect to and sense past events are again involved in mysterious events in Port Gamble, Wash., in this second Empty Coffin tale.

In their debut, Envy (2011), the girls uncovered the truth about a recent death, but the death they're involved with now is clearly murder. Adult characters are more defined than in many novels for teens, with S’Kallam Tribal Police chief Annie Garnett and Mindee the hairstylist at the forefront. The third-person narration allows Olsen to cherry-pick events to keep the suspense going and the mystery intriguing. The paranormal abilities of the girls are just understated enough to make them almost believable, as are the many forensic details of autopsy and crime scene investigation. It’s a disappointment when the murderer makes a telling comment about two-thirds of the way through, and it seems like a purposeful delaying tactic when the girls chase information about their family’s past, which is clearly irrelevant to the core mystery. That secondary plot aside, there is plenty of action, as well as many snide remarks and unlikable characters, to keep readers’ attention.

Despite the paranormal element, this is more a police procedural than anything else, albeit one that's on the fluffy side. (Paranormal mystery. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4027-8958-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Splinter/Sterling
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2012


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