A solid and satisfying paranormal mystery, this offering will please existing fans and may win over some new ones to boot.

UNBROKEN

From the Ruined series , Vol. 2

In this second installment of the Ruined series, New Yorker Rebecca Brown heads back to New Orleans, where new mysteries—and new ghosts—await.

Rebecca—sure that her dealings with ghosts had ended with the breaking of the family curse—is hoping for a haunt-free return trip to New Orleans to enjoy spring break with her father and her best friend, Ling. But when a handsome, blue-eyed boy named Frank appears to her, explaining his need to retrieve a locket from an old, abandoned house in Tremé, Rebecca knows she has to help. Since Frank was supposed to be delivering the locket when he was murdered, he must complete the delivery soon or else be trapped in the ghost world forever. Retrieving a locket sounds like an easy task, until Rebecca realizes that there’s another ghost, the very one who murdered Frank, plus Rebecca’s flesh-and-blood nemesis Toby Sutton, trying to thwart her at every turn. New Orleans is richly evoked, with accurate details, believable local characters and (slightly overdone) dinner-table discussions of gentrification. Rebecca’s love interest, Anton, has a regrettably small role; readers may find themselves wishing for more romantic interludes and less unnecessary recapping of the plot, but this is a small quibble.

A solid and satisfying paranormal mystery, this offering will please existing fans and may win over some new ones to boot. (postscript) (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-41641-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Point/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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Intervals of intense suspense and a well-crafted puzzle blend to create a thrill ride of a story.

FIVE SURVIVE

Red Kenny and her friends’ spring break road trip veers off course when they are detained by a sniper.

Since her police captain mother’s murder, Red has been inseparable from Maddy Lavoy, though it’s often difficult for Red to witness the warm family dynamics Maddy and her brother, Oliver, share with their mother, an assistant DA and Red’s late mother’s best friend. Red, the Lavoy siblings, and three other friends—Reyna Flores-Serrano, Arthur Moore, and Simon Yoo—embark in a borrowed RV on a journey to Gulf Shores but instead find themselves in the crosshairs of a long-range rifle held by a man demanding that one of them reveal an important secret. As Red battles internally with her guilt and grief over her mother’s death, her companions become increasingly volatile and paranoid as the group tries to discern whose secret is the one the hostage taker is after. The sometimes-tedious, sometimes-intense moment-by-moment breakdown of events in the 31-foot RV (that seems much smaller as the night wears on) magnifies the claustrophobia. Subtle indications that no one can really be trusted alternate with mind-blowing revelations. Toxic masculinity is often at war with common sense and good judgment, and moral ambiguity abounds. Red, Arthur, and the Lavoy siblings read White; Reyna is Mexican American, and Simon is cued as biracial (Korean and White). (This review has been updated to correct a character’s name.)

Intervals of intense suspense and a well-crafted puzzle blend to create a thrill ride of a story. (maps) (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-37416-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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