Another smart Goodnight caper

SPIRIT AND DUST

A ghost-whispering 17-year-old is roped into a cinematic showdown between the FBI and the mob.

Clement-Moore introduces another magical teen detective from the Goodnight family, following on Amy’s adventures from Texas Gothic (2011). College freshman Daisy is accustomed to helping out the FBI on cases. Adorable Agent Taylor doesn’t consult with the teen psychic because she’s cute—much as Daisy might wish otherwise—but because her ability to read spirit remnants has helped them catch murderers before. While Daisy interrogates the dead bodyguard of a kidnapped girl, she’s snatched herself, spirited away by the girl’s crime-boss father. Soon, Daisy is on a madcap road trip across the Great Lakes states in the company of a disturbingly attractive young mobster, learning about Egyptology while avoiding erstwhile apocalyptic cultists. A CGI-ready climax pulls together all the metaphysical building blocks laid down in this mystery’s tight worldbuilding (not to mention mummies, ghosts, animated tattoos and a bonus dinosaur). This likable, uber-competent heroine’s adventure combines elements of paranormal romance and fast-paced thriller, while Daisy herself resembles a Southern teen version of supernatural PI Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher’s best-selling adult series.

Another smart Goodnight caper . (Paranormal mystery. 13 & up)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-385-74080-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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A lush and darkly twisted modern fairy tale.

HOUSE OF HOLLOW

Ten years ago, the three Hollow sisters disappeared from an Edinburgh street while on holiday. A month later, they came back.

When Iris, Vivi, and Grey returned, they couldn’t remember anything of their ordeal. Their dark hair turned white, and their blue eyes became black. They sported identical hook-shaped scars on their necks. Despite their altered appearances, their parents were elated to return home to London with them. However, their father soon began to believe that they were not really his daughters, a conviction that led to his suicide. Since then, the story of now 17-year-old Iris and her older sisters has been like catnip to online sleuths, and their ethereal beauty and uncanny ability to bend people to their wills and intoxicate them with dangerous desire add to their mystique. When Grey, now an internationally famous fashion designer and model, goes missing, Iris and Vivi, with help from Grey’s Korean British boyfriend, Tyler, set out to find her and the truth behind their disappearance. Their search takes on a new urgency when they find a decomposing body blooming with white flowers in Grey’s apartment and they are pursued by a murderous man wearing a horned bull’s skull mask. Iris’ smart and assured narration easily carries a fast-paced story entwining themes of grief and loss with elements of folklore and some very inventive body horror. The pervasive feeling of dread builds to a shocking twist.

A lush and darkly twisted modern fairy tale. (Horror. 13-18)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-11034-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.

THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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