An atmospheric thriller, ripe with tension, overcomes a superfluous subplot.
Her murder of her boyfriend Brian has been ruled an act of self-defense, but Mallory is still trapped by what happened that night. To help her get past the murder, her parents send her to Monroe Prep, the boarding school her father attended. But Mallory can't escape the feeling that Brian's mother has followed her or that Brian's spirit is everywhere. Distracting from this gripping suspense is the unnecessary drama at Monroe, where Mallory acts on her feelings for Reid, the son of her father's best friend, and fights off the attentions of Jason, the dean of students' son. Another violent, bloody death—in her own dorm room—acts as the catalyst for Mallory to finally discover what happened that night with Brian as well as this more recent event—although readers will find this second death far less interesting. The storyline at Monroe dilutes the power of Mallory's recovery and minimizes Mallory's relationship with her best friend Colleen, a disappointingly unexplored element.
Still, the primary thriller plot and readers’ investment in Mallory will keep the pages turning. (Thriller. 14 & up)