A hiking trip turns into a crime scene, and a small town is thrown into turmoil.
When the town jock Adam Marshall and weirdo Fletcher Carroll go on a routine hike, no one worries until three hours go by without any word from either of them. A search party is quickly organized, and the police chief's daughter, Avery, finds Fletcher bloody, bruised, and having no memory of what exactly happened. Adam is found dead shortly afterward, and everyone in town whispers and tries to figure out who killed the teen sports star. Unfortunately, even only partly alert readers will be able to figure out exactly who did it. A mystery this obvious is a dull read, made less enticing by the lifeless characters populating it. Clunky exposition is wrapped in a moody delivery that feels like a Xerox of a Xerox of a Veronica Mars episode. Most insulting is the author's treatment of schizophrenia, a serious disease that is worthy of careful exploration. Here it is reduced to a catchall answer for the killer's motive and weapon. It is especially unfortunate that this occurs on the second-to-last page of the book, instantly reminding many readers of the similar final moments in Psycho. It is not a good idea to point readers’ attention to superior entertainment when your middling mystery is wrapping up.
Hollow. (Mystery. 12-16)