A budding teen detective digs up past secrets to expose current vices in this fast-paced, plot-driven mystery sequel.
Keaton boarding school and scholarship student Devon Mackintosh is still recovering from the murder of her crush object, Hutch, when she is knocked unconscious while attending her friend Cleo’s luxury yacht party. Devon is convinced that someone wants her to stop asking questions about both the lurid circumstances of Hutch’s death and the two powerful families that are connected by it. When Devon succeeds in uncovering that connection, she is pulled into a world of adult corruption and danger. One of the families’ patriarchs hands her an old diary from World War II shortly before he dies, and as she reads and researches its contents, Devon makes a startling discovery about her own origins and that of her beloved boarding school. The novel is billed as a stand-alone, but readers are strongly recommended to start with the first Devon Mackintosh title, Escape Theory (2013), as many of its details are germane to this sequel. While there is enough plot here for whodunit enthusiasts, the thinly sketched secondary characters and paint-by-numbers prose ensure disappointment for readers seeking more than a standard-issue mystery.
Solid plotting, so-so characterization. (Mystery. 12-16)