Mara’s absorbing tale continues in this first sequel in the Mara Dyer series, answering some questions but, clearly, leaving plenty of suspense still to come.
In the opening book, the author left open whether Mara’s difficulties were psychological, paranormal or criminal. Here, Mara continues her relationship with wealthy Noah, and the two learn that they have more in common than they ever suspected. Meanwhile, Mara insists that her supposedly dead former boyfriend, Jude, continues to stalk her. She is being treated as an outpatient for PTSD after causing (as she originally believed) the deaths of Jude and her friends, but she’s sure she doesn’t need to be in residential psychiatric care. Noah uses his wits and wealth to try to protect her and to investigate the possibility that Jude indeed survived, even as Mara’s actions appear increasingly disturbed. Hodkin stretches the story into another lengthy tome but keeps readers’ interest focused throughout with a lively prose style and a bit of romance. Her skillful exploitation of ambiguity enhances the suspense, exploring not only the psychological possibilities, but narrative tricks as well. Is it a realistic tale of insanity, a supernatural story or a mystery? Readers will be guessing until a final suspenseful scene resolves some secrets and sets up what promises to be an exciting and intriguing next installment.
Interesting and unusual. (Suspense. 12 & up)