EVIL ENCOUNTER by Sonia Levitin

EVIL ENCOUNTER

Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 After her parents' divorce, Michelle and her mother, Sandra, move from Philadelphia to the Los Angeles area. Michelle is miserable, blaming her mother for the divorce without confronting her about it, hating her new school, and watching her grades drop. Sandra signs Michelle up for group encounter sessions run by the handsome, charming, fortyish Luke. Immediately Michelle begins to heal, believing that Luke understands her, that he sees into her soul and accepts her even as he begins to uncover her weaknesses. She also feels herself falling in love with him, but rejects his advances during an encounter weekend at a desert spa. When Luke is murdered and Sandra is arrested as the killer, Michelle calls on her new resources to solve the crime. Levitin (Adam's War, 1994, etc.) starts out with a good premise that begins to unravel when Luke enters the scene. His pycho-babble won't get far with mystery fans, who also have to tolerate manipulative character development, sloppy melodrama, and preposterous plot twists. There are minor missteps that will drive careful readers crazy, e.g., Michelle's hair gets frizzy in the ``dry desert air.'' It all requires more suspension of disbelief than most of Levitin's fans will be willing to muster. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80216-1
Page count: 249pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1996




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