During a summer internship, a teenage boy is thrust into the middle of a murderous political game in Stone’s thriller debut.
Cameron Carter is in serious trouble. He was thrilled when a summer internship in his congressman’s office, the opportunity of lifetime, landed in his lap. He makes friends with fellow interns, impresses several staffers, and even sparks a relationship with Lena Cruz, the adventurous daughter of the Mexican ambassador. But when Ariel, a staffer who had taken Cameron under her wing and asked for his help on a secret project, dies suddenly in a car crash, fissures of doubt around her death begin to break apart the shiny facade of the capital and the congressman himself. Character development takes a back seat to an enthralling plot of power, greed, and murder that threatens to swallow its protagonist whole. Cameron is something of an Everyman—a white teen in a very white Washington, D.C., he is YA’s answer to Harrison Ford—but his dogged (even reckless) proclivity for pursuing questions and some complexity with regard to his supposedly deceased mother keep readers from losing him in the high-octane plot. Some artless setup for a sequel may detract from the narrative’s overall punch, but readers can’t help but wonder what will come next.
While not pushing the genre into new territory, Stone has crafted a narrative driven by that most potent of fuels: political intrigue. (Political thriller. 14-17)