This compelling debut follows the efforts of a girl who’s fascinated with a serial killer.
Lane, 17, knows she’s disturbed. She has virtually no emotions and finds herself fascinated with the Decapitator, the serial killer her mother, a behavioral analyst at the FBI, has been tracking for years. Lane secretly works to discover the killer’s identity—until the killer begins to contact her personally. He appears to know everything about her, sending private letters that Lane does not turn over to the FBI. Meanwhile, Lane beings to act as a vigilante, wreaking vengeance on unpunished criminals—a rapist found not guilty, a boy who harms animals—becoming known, to her irritation, as the Masked Savior. She’s also crushing on the veterinarian she works for, finally dating his younger brother Zach, an experience that demonstrates she has some emotions after all, especially when the Decapitator appears to be someone far closer to her than she had realized. But who? Green keeps the narrative humming along, unfolding events through her psychologically damaged narrator’s eyes and deepening the mystery until events roar to a climax. The story works as much as a character study of Lane as it does an effective thriller. Red herrings abound as readers, along with Lane, begin to understand that she isn’t quite as unemotional or as ruthless as she had previously believed.
A zippy, gripping psychological drama. (Thriller. 14-18)