A serial killer's son is drawn to the daughter of his dad's final victim.
It's been years since Kyle's dad was convicted for the infamous Bonebreaker murders, and he finally has the chance to escape that legacy. Uncle Coby's somehow wrangled Kyle a place at a Pennsylvania prep school. At Killdeer Academy, he can become Kyle Henry instead of Kyle Henry Bluchevsky, the Bonebreaker's son. Surely it's only a heinous coincidence that his first friend at Killdeer turns out to be Naomi Steadman, the only girl to see the Bonebreaker and live? But it can't be a coincidence that people are dying: a girl falls from the academy roof, and a boy is found hanging in the dark. Killdeer Academy provides a suitably Gothic setting for these new deaths: the ivy-covered turrets, the alcoves populated by dusty taxidermic birds, the campus hidden behind iron gates in the deep woods, once a mental institution until arson by inmates in the 1940s left many in the asylum dead. Chapters interleave Kyle's voice with Naomi's (both are white), occasionally interrupted with news clippings, court documents, and other ephemera. These, along with subtle in-story hints (and numerous red herrings) slowly paint a picture of the Bonebreaker's past—and Killdeer's present.
Spine-chilling and splendidly gory, with a genre-perfect stormy night denouement: the power cut, the phones out, the corpses revealed by lightning. (Thriller. 12-15)