Based on a real murder case in northern California, this tale of peer and parental pressures involves the reader in basic moral questions. Cassie and Ken are smart, attractive, well-liked juniors who go to a summer house with friends after a high-school dance. There, one of the couples discover the disfigured body of a missing classmate. Since they've had alcohol and drugs with them, the group fears getting into trouble and agrees not to tell, but Cassie and Ken agonize over the decision. Later, Ken silently leads a search group to the site; the body is gone. Cassie and Ken each come to suspect an amoral classmate known for cheating and dope-peddling. Challenged by her mother to take more responsibility after another friend overdoses, Cassie goes to the police; so, independently, does Ken, although his father (in whom he confides) threatens to disown him if he does. When the story becomes public, the two are praised by press and community--and also by Ken's father. With narrative skill, Levitin develops plot and characters almost entirely by dialogue, alternating chapters between Cassie's and Ken's points of view. A painfully realistic morality play, sure-fire material for book-talks and discussions.