Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Kevin Brooks

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: July 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-545-05752-3
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic

Childhood relationships twist after gruesome events. While rediscovering formerly close friendships, 17-year-old Pete and his motley crew find themselves targeted for investigation after a teen starlet disappears from the local carnival. Pete begins his own inquiry after learning that Raymond, the group’s outcast, is the prime suspect, and soon learns the bonds of friendship have shifted into something darker. Entangled in a web of betrayal and blackmail, Pete must discover who he is and who his friends have become. Brooks’s skill at depicting cooled friendships excels, though readers may wonder why the group was so close initially. Raymond’s distant character becomes too insubstantial at times, nearly drifting from the page; however, readers who know what it’s like to be bullied will feel a strong emotional connection with him. False trails and near misses weigh down the interpersonal mystery, diluting an otherwise fast-paced narrative. Exploring control, power and secrecy, with a hint of Lord of the Flies, Brooks crafts a morbid beach read. (Mystery. YA)