This second adventure featuring twin amateur sleuths Steven and Denny Anderson focuses on the teens' personal lives.
Steven has sworn off dating, but multiple girls are pursuing him. Denny, finally out as gay to friends and family, is dating Brian and eager to lose his virginity before leaving to train for the Coast Guard at the end of the summer. Meanwhile, a tree falls on the Andersons' house, and the twins take up temporary residence on their friend Nathan Carter's boat. There are scuba-diving lessons with a cantankerous war veteran and his teenage daughter, a run-in with a strict and homophobic aunt, a martial arts challenge and a variety of relationship conflicts. Among so many subplots, the titular secret, which involves a mysterious, crashed satellite and violent out-of-towners eager to retrieve it, fades somewhat into the background. The result is a busy but lively teen drama with Steven and Denny's practical, caring, sometimes antagonistic and often humorous brotherly relationship at its center.
Mystery fans may wish for more sleuthing; those following the twins' love lives and military careers will find plenty of twists and turns to appreciate here. (Mystery. 14-16)