Teen drama with a murderous twist.
When 17-year-old British girl Eva goes missing, her friends and family hope for the best—but when her body is found murdered in the woods, suspicion quickly turns toward her boyfriend, Luke. The relationship between Luke and Eva is slowly revealed to have been toxic and damaging, making Luke the perfect suspect, but that role is actually quite popular, with Eva having had a secret relationship and suspicious strangers appearing at pivotal moments in the narrative. But can Luke’s lingering allies find out enough to exonerate him before his trial? As the story is told in multiple voices, including through Eva’s diary, online exchanges, and narrative from several characters’ first-person points of view, the drama and mystery have to work hard to surface amongst the confusing shifts in perspectives. Twists and turns abound in the novel, though often without logic or meaningful contribution to the plot, such as when Luke’s friend hears that he is pleading guilty to Eva’s murder, but confusingly, he claims he only said as much to a fellow inmate to seem more intimidating. Characters mainly default to white with the exception of some secondary characters.
A lackluster mystery that bows under the weight of narrative technique. (Mystery. 14-16)