In this sequel to Shade Me (2016), synesthete Nikki Kill continues her search for the murderer of Peyton Hollis and for answers that can explain her own past.
Nikki sees colors signifying emotions. Peyton, who turned out to be her long-estranged half sister, also had synesthesia and left color clues that she apparently believed Nikki could follow. The villains of the first book, the Hollises, have escaped to Dubai, and their dangerous daughter Luna is in juvenile detention—or so Nikki thinks. Now the white teen learns that she has become a suspect in Peyton’s murder. That intended suspense point doesn’t really work, as early on the assistant DA reveals that she agrees that Nikki probably is being framed. However, there’s plenty more to hold readers’ attention as Nikki and her sidekick, Detective Chris Martinez, the appealing and successful young Latino policeman she met previously, get themselves into danger as they continue to investigate. Hints (some in the form of synesthetic purple special effects) that a romance might develop between Nikki and Chris abound throughout the book. Brown keeps Nikki’s chip firmly on her shoulder, but her protagonist is more willing in this installment to work with Chris rather than get in trouble independently.
It’s good that Nikki’s developed some self-control, as it will help motivate readers to stick around for Volume 3 and the continuation of the mystery. (Suspense. 12-18)