The discovery of two bodies yields numerous suspects.
With its unspecified setting, this Canadian import could take place in almost any snowy small town in North America. One night during the Christmas holiday, a police lieutenant’s wife suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s disappears and is later found frozen and dead. This unfortunate event is soon overshadowed by an even greater tragedy that same evening: the unexpected murder of high school student Derek Maugham. When it’s discovered that his girlfriend, Jordie, was possibly the last to see him alive—and after a dispute no less—she becomes one of the main suspects. An omniscient narrator focuses on the clues and motives rather than characterization as Jordie (as well as the police) tries to find the real killer. And as she pieces together the whereabouts of her missing bracelet that’s related to the case, she discovers that she’s not the only one with secrets to hide—about both deaths. The teens don’t always sound their age (“how can anything be an anniversary after only one-sixth of an annum?”), but their mature speech, combined with plenty of adult characters, makes this a great crossover novel. The present-tense narration helps keep the mystery taut with concise pacing.
A classic whodunit. (Mystery. 13 & up)