In order to catch a serial killer, a quintet of gifted teens needs first to cooperate with one another in this sequel to The Naturals (2014).
Cassie is a member of the FBI's Naturals program—a supersecret squad of gifted teens assigned to work cold cases. Cassie's a profiler; she learned at her con-artist mother's knee to read people's motivations and fears. Her teammates include an expert at reading emotions, someone with immense skill at both lying and detecting lies, a numbers whiz and another profiler. The serial-killer hunt that quickly entangles them all (not a cold case at all, but a live murderer they can't avoid) is a well-constructed and suspenseful mystery. But they'll never be able to catch the killer if they don't get their collective act together. The five teens and their adult caretakers are at constant loggerheads, fighting about both romance and secrets. One of the Naturals is a serial killer's son, the adult team members were involved in said killer's arrest, and the current killer seems to be a copycat. As in Cassie's previous adventure, all their gory mysteries revolve around the tragic pasts of multiple members of the Naturals team. A romance plotline, though its messy complexities are rich in verisimilitude, grates: Everybody wants a piece of Cassie.
A welcome addition to the teen-sleuth genre. (Mystery. 12-15)