A girl uses her considerable talent to resolve her friends’ problems in her elite high school until she finds herself in an uncontrollable situation in this sequel to The Fixer (2015).
Tess learned in the previous book that rather than being high-powered political consultant Ivy’s much younger sister, actually she is Ivy’s daughter. She’s also the granddaughter of William Keyes, notorious D.C. kingmaker. The white teen has inherited the family talent. She can assess a situation and plot a path forward like a master chess player and sees through people well enough to discern their hidden goals—knowledge, her grandfather tells her, that is power. When Tess is reluctantly drafted to help Emelia campaign for student body president, her first challenge is a compromising picture posted on social media. All goes well until Tess finds the perp of that particular dirty trick attacked on the campus of her high school, and the police suspect Asher, Emelia’s twin and one of Tess’ best friends. But all of that means little when Tess finds herself a captive in the hands of international terrorists. Barnes maps out a plot worthy of soapy political thrillers but focuses on suspense more than politics, especially when the book becomes an action novel in the later chapters. With this installment readers find that this is merely the midpoint of a longer game, with another sequel approaching.
Aims to be Scandal for teens and mostly succeeds. (Thriller. 12-18)